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ECOWAS Commission Parleys Media Managers and Civil Society to deepen participatory democracy in the Republic of Benin

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ECOWAS Commission Parleys Media Managers and Civil Society to deepen participatory democracy in the Republic of Benin
As part of the efforts to promote the participatory governance process in the Republic of Benin, the ECOWAS Commission engaged media managers as well as leaders of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) via videoconferencing on the 17th of March 2021.
Besides the enhancement of participatory democracy, the meeting aimed, among others, to strengthen the processes leading to the provision of the necessary conducive atmosphere for the holding of peaceful democratic elections in Benin.
Apart from raising the awareness of the Media in Benin on the ECOWAS Norms and Standards for the Promotion of Peace and Security in West Africa, the meeting was meant to help fashion out a way of enhancing the capacity of the media to be professional and mindful of the ethics of the profession in the discharge of roles especially during the electioneering period while discouraging media establishments from being used to promote hate speech within and outside the electoral circle.

PRAWA lauds judgment on vagrancy law, tasks government on implementation

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Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) has hailed the landmark ruling of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which declared that vagrancy laws are inconsistent and inconsonant with the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Children’s Rights Charter and Women Rights Protocol.     
According to PRAWA, the judgement is a major boost to the campaign to decriminalize and declassify petty offences in Africa. The group therefore called on the government of Nigeria to take immediate action by repealing laws that are in breach of Articles 2,3,5 and 6 of the African Charter. 
“Sadly, Nigeria is one of the countries that still retain some aspects of colonial laws that criminalize poverty, in their lawbooks. 

COTAE Drills Journalists in 'Abidjan Principles, Rights to Education Issues'

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Media pratitioners and some government officials including national and international partners who attended the workshop in Monrovia
The Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (COTAE) has ended a one-day training workshop for journalists on the Abidjan Principles and Right to Education Issues in Liberia.
The one day event brought together over 15 journalists on Thursday, November 19, 2020 in Monrovia. The workshop was organized to acknowledge journalists of key issues relating to the Abidjan Principles that were adopted in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, in February 2019.
COTAE’s workshop also informed  journalists on the consolidated framework and guiding principles on human rights obligations of states to provide good quality, inclusive, acceptable, gender-sensitive, and responsive public education and regulate the involvement of private and for-profit actors in education, chiefly in Liberia.

Breaking News | How improved prison education can decongest correctional centres, reduce crime, by experts

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The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) is saddled with managing the rehabilitation process of inmates. These inmates are expected to rejoin the society at the expiration of their term. There are a good number of former inmates who are self-employed, while others work in different organisations. Some continue their education outside the prison; several are married and are responsible citizens. However, the environment and social attitude of discrimination and stigmatisation of ex-inmates is a major obstacle to reintegrate them.
But just as serving terms matter, how the inmates pass time in their stages of correctional system is equally important. Observers identified over-population, deplorable facilities, and ineffectiveness of skill acquisition and rehabilitation centres as some of the factors that have plagued the system in the country for years.

WEBINADEMIC: How nonprofits stepped up training for campus journalists despite COVID-19 lockdown

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WEBINADEMIC: How nonprofits stepped up training for campus journalists despite COVID-19 lockdown
WEBINADEMIC: How nonprofits stepped up training for campus journalists despite COVID-19 lockdown
Soon after the Federal Government announced the closure of primary, secondary and tertiary schools in Nigeria. Several non-profits rose up to provide continuous training for students including students/campus writers and journalists. In this report, IFEDAYO OGUNYEMI documents the experiences of these students.
24-year-old Oluwafunmilayo Adefila’s hopes to complete her journalism course work in April were dashed when the Federal Government announced the shutting down of schools across the country on March 28.
The Nigerian government announced lockdown and restriction of movements and other various measures as part of efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus. The global response to this disease affects about 90 percent of the student populace worldwide.

PRAWA advocates decriminalization of petty offenders

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Vanguard News
PRAWA advocates decriminalization of petty offenders
By Bashir Bello
A non-governmental organisation, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, (PRAWA) has on Tuesday advocated that minor or petty offences be decriminalized and the offenders are punished through engaging them in community services and not imprisonment or kept in custodial centres.
This was as it calls for the amendment of the penal code to allow for community service against petty offenders instead of imprisonment.
The Head of PRAWA in Kano, Katumi Mohammed Oboirien Esq. made the call while briefing newsmen in the state on it project “declassification and decriminalization of petty offences in Nigeria” with support from Open Society Initiative of West Africa, OSIWA.

Liberia: OSIWA Donates US$50k for CONVID-19 Fight

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Liberia: OSIWA Donates US$50k for CONVID-19 Fight
Liberia: OSIWA Donates US$50k for CONVID-19 Fight
Monrovia – As part of efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Liberia, the Open Society Initiative of West Africa, (OSIWA) has donated US$50,000 as its contribution to the National Response Coordinator for the Executive Committee on COVID-19.  
OSIWA’s Country Officer, Ms. Massa Crayton, presented the check to the National Response Coordinator for the Executive Committee on COVID-19, Madam Mary T. Broh.
Ms. Crayton expressed OSIWA’s commitment in working with the government to fight the pandemic, adding that her organization recognizes the efforts of the team headed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

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