CLEEN foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) has bagged the 2019 Human Rights award for its contributions to strengthening of law enforcement agencies for the protection of human rights in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Dr Benson Olugbuo who received the award dedicated the award to all victims and survivors of human rights abuses in Nigeria from 1960 to 2019.
He said the Foundation emerged in response to military dictatorship characterized by human rights violations and impunity by security officials and the need for improved service delivery to citizens.
According to him, CLEEN has grown to become a leading NGO in the area of public safety, security and accessible justice in Nigeria and the sub-region and it is a member of key security networks across the continent.
He said over 21 years of its existence, the Foundation has contributed in improving the understanding and respect for human rights, eliminating social injustice, discriminatory attitudes and practices and enhanced access to justice.
In this regard, he said, the Foundation supported the establishment of the Gender Desk and Complaints Response Unit (CRU) at the Nigeria Police Force, and has partnered with the National Human Rights Commission and Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) Foundation to organize Public Hearings on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
He said the Foundation also pioneered the monitoring of the conduct of security agencies on election duty under its election security management project thereby strengthening the work of the Police Service Commission.
According to Olugbuo, It also contributed to thw enhancement of human rights compliance of law enforcement officials through the organization of various human rights trainings.
He explained further that the Foundation contributed in promoting, protecting, defending, monitoring and reporting human rights violations by security officials in Nigeria.
He said in improving security sector accountability and human rights compliance in countering violent extremism in Nigeria, the Foundation has been working with state and non-state actors to enhance interagency coordination, collaboration and cooperation between the state and non-state actors in the North-East.
He stated that the Foundation is the first African based non-profit organization to win the MacArthur Foundation award for creative and effective institutions in 2006. Other awards include: The Best e-Governance Project 2016 Award (National Information Technology Development Agency-Nihilent e-Governance), Advocate of Peace and Social Justice Award 2016, The Best NGO in ICT Deployment 2016 Award (National Information Technology Development Agency -Nihilent e-Governance) and the University of Lagos Human Rights Advocacy and Partnership Award 2019.
According to him, CLEEN Foundation has Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights in Banjul, The Gambia. The Foundation is headquartered in Abuja, with branch offices in Lagos, Owerri and Benin City.