Grassroots and community-led groups are central to efforts promoting security, economic well-being, and equality within Nigeria. Yet, their ability to carry out this critical work has been hampered by efforts to silence those who speak out against injustices.
While free speech and free assembly are constitutionally protected rights in Nigeria, a recent crackdown on activists threatens their capability to address human rights abuses. This includes the misuse of policies intended to address terrorism and its financing to impede human rights investigations and advocacy and to criminalize bloggers, journalists, and others who are critical of government or security forces.
The Fund partners with Nigerian activists to develop practical strategies to ensure that core freedoms are recognized and strengthened. This includes the creation of digital and offline networks that allow human rights defenders to collaborate and to mobilize new supporters throughout the country. They also engage policy makers at the national and regional levels around protecting human rights activism as part of the country’s legal and financial governance.