Know Your Rights Nigeria (Women and Girl/Child Empowerment) Campaign
Project Description
The Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative (CRALI) was established and implemented in Nigeria in 2012. The initiative’s mandate is to contribute extensively to expanding the frontiers of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy while harnessing the benefits of the steadily evolving Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Targeted organizations include Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Government, Parastatals, Educational & Cultural Institutions, and the Private Sector.

CRALI leverages the latest ICT tools to tackle society’s multifaceted developmental challenges, including human rights, youth empowerment, environment, democracy, and happiness of people across Africa. The underlying philosophy is to use ICT to implement social development initiatives to meet organizations’ strategic and resource management needs. Both government and the private sector can leverage ICT to undertake policy analysis and advocacy campaigns through CRALI’s closely-knit programmatic areas.

Know Your Rights Nigeria Application

In 2016, CRALI launched the “Know Your Rights Nigeria” Mobile Application, which simplifies all human rights for Android phone users in Nigeria. The mobile application accommodates Pidgin, a language spoken by over 100 million Nigerians, and it is equally available in English. Currently, the application champions vulnerable groups’ rights, reaching a climax during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It has enhanced the understanding of human rights for the communities of women and girls by simplifying their rights and safeguards in languages they can easily understand. Users can chat daily, openly or anonymously, with a team of up to 50 lawyers pro-bono (free) on legal issues, including human rights abuse issues stemming from COVID-19 restrictive measures with responses to all inquiries and follow ups on complaints.

Problem Statement and Solution
The lockdown measures in Nigeria effectively reduced COVID-19 transmission, with the closure of schools, movement restrictions, and recommended homestays. Despite these benefits, the lockdown measures resulted in varying levels of distress among individuals, including domestic violence and other forms of violence against women and children. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, reports have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified.

Before the pandemic, response to domestic and gender-based violence-related issues was less than 10 percent of the problems the CRALI’s legal team addressed. The cases increased to over 49 percent during the lockdown, with women and girls as the primary victims.

CRALI launched the ‘Know Your Rights Nigeria (Women and Girl/Child Empowerment)’ campaign designed to connect vulnerable communities to the existing Know Your Rights Nigeria human rights platforms to address these challenges.

Achievements
Translated and proofread the simplified Women, Girls, and Children Rights Laws of ‘Know Your Rights Nigeria (Women and Girl/Child Empowerment)’ in English and Pidgin languages.
Developed the corresponding Software: This involved the software applications development in expanding ‘Know Your Rights Nigeria (Women, Girls/Children Empowerment)’ to accommodate Women, Girls and Children on Web and iPhone and Android Platforms in English and Pidgin languages.

The Know Your Rights Nigeria (Women, Girls/Children Empowerment) App and Web version was successfully implemented and delivered. The vulnerable groups across Nigeria can now access free legal services anonymously with a mere button push. Currently, 55,500 people have accessed the simplified and digitized ‘Know Your Rights Nigeria (Women and Girl/Child Empowerment)’ App in Nigeria. Additionally, 1,991 legal inquiries were received, while 341 responses were made public by the App users.

CRALI created content for women and children as part of the App promotion. This content included video promotional jingles, audio promotional jingles, and audio adverts in English and Pidgin (available on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram). Users can report abuse openly or anonymously. Users can receive legal support through the functional ‘Chat Lawyers” platform on a 24-hour basis.

Long-term Expected Results
The project will directly empower approximately 80 million women and girls in Nigeria to understand their fundamental human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The app allows women and girls across the 36 States of Nigeria and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to chat with a team of lawyers on human rights issues. They can use the app and the web version to report rights abuse anonymously and connect to organizations that offer support services to women and children.