As the social justice frontier keeps expanding, social justice actors and crusaders keep getting increasingly involved with many emergent issues of social concern. Since time immemorial, a perfect society is yet to evolve – one without poverty, war, hunger, oppression, mortality, inequality, gender exclusion and suchlike social justice issues. Due to this reality, social justice advocacy remains vital for changing the narrative in demanding a just and fair world where everyone has a voice and every voice matters. Several organisations working on diverse areas of social justice across Nigeria have captured and documented their on-field and off-field experiences, sharing their learning to support as many people or groups who wish to work in the social justice space in this invaluable resource.
Community of practice
As a thriving community of practice (COP) on social justice supported by the Voice Nigeria, this resource also captures multi-sectoral views from a wide variety of stakeholders across the social justice space. This took place in July 2022 when the CoP hosted a well-attended national stakeholders’ engagement forum which drew representatives from law enforcement agencies, government MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies), legal luminaries, and a vast array of civil society organisations (CSOs) from across the length and breadth of the country. Voice is an innovative grant facility implemented by Oxfam in Nigeria, which is aimed at strengthening the ability and capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) and representatives of the most marginalised and discriminated groups to lobby and advocate for positive change. These marginalised groups are often the hardest to reach. In Nigeria, they consist of people with disabilities; women facing abuse and exploitation; indigenous and ethnic marginalised groups; age and other related discriminated groups. This CoP is facilitated by the Voice Linking and Learning facilitators – Cognito and NINE.
The community is made up of some organisations that are grantee partners under the VOICE project as follows: Centre for Social Awareness Advocacy and Ethics (CSAAE): Implementing the project “Sorosoke, Park well” across the entire South-eastern region of Nigeria; Youth and Students Advocates for Development Initiative (YSAD): Implementing the project “No Dey Give, Follow Traffic Rules” in Imo and Abia States; and the Foundation for Societal Empowerment and Rejuvenation (FOSER): Implementing the project “Know Your Rights to Fight Police Brutality” in Bauchi State including Youth Hub Africa: Implementing the project “You Matter in This Matter” in Ebonyi, Bauchi, Oyo and FCT;
Others are Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organisation (CAPIO): Implementing the project ‘Pollrite 23,’ ensuring the rights of Inmates to vote in the 2023 election; Citizens Commons: Implementing the project ‘From Protest to Action: Activating a New Nigeria” across selected geographies in Nigeria; and YIAGA Africa: Implementing the project “Run To Win.” The document is divided into three parts. The first part titled: ‘Understanding Social Justice in Nigeria’ seeks to set a context for the social justice milieu in Nigeria and beyond. It shares a primer on the concept, background and principles of social justice as well as the legal framework within which social justice operates. Similarly, the second part of the document on ‘Tools and Tactics for Effective Social Justice Advocacy’, looks at ways in which key approaches can be employed to achieve results in Social Justice Advocacy. These include practical how-to tips on media advocacy, community organising, advocacy in the most unlikely places as well as ensuring an effective feedback mechanism and citizen engagement.