International Institute for Religious Freedom

United Nations Human Rights Council includes ORFA´s submission in report about Nigeria

The ORFA, a partner organization of the IIRF, submitted a report for the UN Universal Periodic Review on Nigeria and is included in the document.


The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a distinctive process that involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. It provides an opportunity for all States to declare the actions they have taken to improve human rights situations in their countries and address challenges to the enjoyment of human rights. During this process, NGOs can submit information that is considered during the review, ensuring that their concerns are included as a basis for the assessment.

Nigeria was one of 14 States reviewed by the UPR Working Group during the session from 22 January to 2 February 2024, reviewing three documents: 1) national report – information provided by the State under review; 2) information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities; 3) information provided by other stakeholders including national human rights institutions, regional organizations, and civil society groups.

The Observatory of Religious Freedom in Africa (ORFA), through the credentials of the Foundation Platform for Social Transformation, a partner organization of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF), delivered a submission for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review on Nigeria and was included in the document “Summary of stakeholders’ submissions on Nigeria”.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights quotes ORFA’s report in section C, referred to the “Promotion and protection of human rights”, item 30, referring to the submission quoting

“FPST stated that Christians were disproportionately affected by violence perpetrated by groups such as Boko Haram, ISWAP and armed Fulani herders”.

The importance of this inclusion in the report lies in the recognition of the contributions of the IIRF, ORFA and their collaborators by the Commission as reliable sources for the identification of religious freedom violations in Nigeria.

The focus of ORFA’s submission was on the violence in Nigeria during the reporting period, based on data collected through three years of gathering by our Nigerian partners within the country. The data spans the periods from October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020, October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, and October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022.

This submission, and the report it is based on, represent a first-of-its-kind approach in the region, aiming to illustrate how the right to religious freedom is affected by an ongoing “culture of violence” created by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), armed Fulani herders, bandits, and other smaller groups.

You can find ORFA’s full submission here.