The Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme supported the launch of Nigeria's first national sexual offender and service provider register. The database was established to help tackle violence against women.
One in four Nigerian women are sexually abused before they turn 18, with the majority of cases of sexual abuse in country are not prosecuted, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
The sexual offender register contains the names of those persons reported, arraigned and/or convicted of sexual offences since 2015 (as defined under section 1(4) of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act).
The service provider register includes the contact details of those providing assistance to victims and survivors of all forms of domestic and sex-related violence, including government, non-government, faith-based, voluntary and charitable associations/ institutions or individuals providing shelter, homes, counselling, legal, financial, vocational, educational, psycho-social, medical or other assistance.
The register is available online (https://nsod.naptip.gov.ng) to better help the public, state bodies, and police conduct background checks and identify repeat offenders.
Suspects who are cleared will also be recorded in a part of the register only available to law enforcement agencies, amid concerns that the majority of sexual offenders escape prosecution due to failings in the justice system.
Ordinary citizens will be able to access the register, which is managed by Nigeria's National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and funded by RoLAC.
An initial group of 15 NGOs will monitor police and media reports across Nigeria and update the register on a monthly basis.
'The launch of the sexual offender register marks a historic time in the feminist calendar of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Hopefully, it also marks the end of impunity in the fight against rape and gender-based sexual abuse.' Leymah Gbowee Nobel Peace Laureate
'The register will serve as a strategy to stop the humanitarian and security crisis in northeast Nigeria, which had seen a rise in cases of sexual abuse.' Sadiya Farouq, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs
'It is encouraging that the government is making efforts to bring to book those caught in violent acts against women and children.’ Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General