South Africa

Closure measures due to COVID-19 in Nigeria have been tough for informal workers – SABC News

Security forces during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria trustee to carry out instructions for closure and staying at home. Intended for public health measures, these inspections caused additional damage.

The damage is in it arrests and detention, harassment, extrajudicial killings, destruction, mutilation and torture of goods. The audits also trampled on the human and economic rights of workers in the informal economy.

The informal economy of Nigeria 65% of the country’s total GDP and employs more than 90% of the workforce.

From 5.58 million people 2.38 million men and 3.2 million women – live on Lagos ’informal economy. This represents about three-quarters of the state’s 7.5 million workforce.

These estimates show that the livelihood of a large percentage of Nigeria’s population depends on the informal economy. It follows that protection measures against COVID-19 would have a huge negative impact on informal workers. The measures make it more difficult for informal workers to work outside their homes every day.

Our research focused on the violation of the human rights of Nigerian informal workers by state actors. We demand an approach to pandemic control that recognizes the nuances of local cultures and the social economy.

Study of the actions of the state

The data a WHO, Nigerian Epidemiological Center publication portal, policy documents the Nigerian governmentmagazine and newspaper articles, blog posts from press conferences and media interviews with government officials.

At the time of the closure, movement was restricted, and we were unable to conduct personal interviews or surveys. Therefore, we relied on a review of the literature on responses to protection against COVID-19.

At the start of the first wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the government declared emergency. He instructed state actors, including security agencies, to take the necessary measures to maintain public order and protect the lives and property of citizens. They were also asked to keep basic public services running and to channel aid to the most deprived areas. State actors have restricted movement and travel, banned public gatherings, and closed markets, businesses, and schools.

Despite Attention According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, states must not violate human rights under the guise of emergency or urgency measures, and some measures taken by Nigerian security agencies have violated the rights of informal workers. Of particular concern were those whose survival depended daily earnings outside the home. These include street vendors, retailers, artisans, caravans, garbage collectors, commercial motorcycle operators, and roadside motorcyclists.

The epidemic and related control measures worsened various forms of social, cultural and economic exclusion and inequality. This has severely affected vulnerable groups such as informal workers.

In some states in Nigeria, such as Abia, Ekiti, Lagos, Kaduna and Rivers, abuses have taken place, such as the destruction of merchants ’goods by security officers implementing a closure policy. Cases where security forces were involved in harassment, murder, mutilation and torture.

Public transport services were shut down, leading to a loss of revenue. Informal workers have little choice but to walk long distances between home and work. Many who dared to move were harassed and arrested by security forces. These effects were recorded media reports.

The closure policy greatly decreased income-generating activities for informal workers and presented the dilemma of “dying of the virus or starving”.

Nigeria is the Bill of Rightsand these rights Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution contains These include the right to life, the right to dignity, the right to personal liberty, the right to free movement and the right of assembly and association. State actors violated these rights during the lockout.

How the state actors were wrong

While the Nigerian police published some guidelines for the implementation of protection measures against COVID-19 discretionary use of force.

The guidelines provided for the use of “force which is strictly necessary and proportionate to achieve the desired result and in accordance with the national law in force”. Daily earners who cannot survive without leaving their homes were not taken into account. Consequently, many Nigerians who adhered to the COVID-19 closure policy did not have the food and income their families needed.

The closure also closed schools and disrupted student education. While children of the elite took online lessons and used digital platforms to learn, children of informal workers were not given such an opportunity.

Protection programs against COVID-19 are important legal, constitutional and human rights concerns.

What we suggest

Any future foreclosure strategy must take into account the risks to life and livelihood. Approaches such as ordering closure and staying at home may not benefit the societies they rule. informal economies.

We to argue that the enforcement of protection policies against COVID-19 in Nigeria has neglected social structures and the functioning of the local economy. This has undermined the human rights of informal workers, whose livelihoods depend on daily social interactions.

Cultural nuances should also be considered before these control practices are widely applied. And security agents need human rights training as part of the effective implementation of protection measures against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Chidi NzeadibeProfessor of Environmental Management and Sustainability, University of Nigeria; Christian Ezeibeassistant professor, political science, University of Nigeria; Kelechi Elijah Nnamanilecturer and researcher, Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria; Nkemdilim Patricia Anazonwuteacher and researcher, social work, University of Nigeria; Nnabuike Osadebelecturer, sociology and anthropology, University of Nigeria; Obiora AnichebeAssociate Professor of Social and Political Philosophy, University of Nigeriaand Peter MbahProfessor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria

This article has been republished The conversation Under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Closure measures due to COVID-19 in Nigeria have been tough for informal workers – SABC News

Source link Closure measures due to COVID-19 in Nigeria have been tough for informal workers – SABC News

Back to top button