The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has advised relevant stakeholders to shun all forms of racial discrimination.
Acting Executive Secretary of NHRC, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah, gave the advice, on Tuesday, in Abuja, as part of activities marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
According to her, every individual is part of the global community.
In a statement by the Commission’s Head of Media, Fatimah Mohammad, Ovrawah said that racial discrimination was a serious affront to the human rights and fundamental freedom.
She said that embracing all humanity, “promotes social justice, being the cornerstone of respect for human rights’’.
Ovrawah cited Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which states that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in this declaration without distinction of any kind’’.
“Such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or status,’’ she said.
Ovrawah said Nigeria, as a state party to the UN Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination, had obligation to establish a national monitoring mechanism for prevention of, and accountability for racial discrimination.
“No other time is better to do this than now, especially with our experience in South Africa, Libya, India and many countries in Europe, ‘’ she said.
The acting executive secretary described the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa as an unfortunate attempt to smear the Nigeria/South African relations which had come a long way.
She called on the Federal Government to do more by providing the necessary protection for every citizen living within and outside the country.
Ovrawah said this year’s celebration was particularly important, considering the ethno-religious, herdsmen-farmers and communal crises in the country.
She advised contending parties to explore civil and legal means of settling disputes.
Ovrawah also said Nigerians should prevent any form of human rights violation through tolerance and inclusion.
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed on March 21 every year.
This followed the United Nations General Assembly declaration in 1966 after the Police opened fire on March 21 1960 and killed people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa.
The UN draws the attention of the international community to the need to redouble effort to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. (NAN)