The CANs Foundation(CWCDAfrica) in partnership with the Rotaract Club of the University of Abuja, has launched its ‘’Get Backed Up’’ school Campaign. According to Anthony Eromosele, the Programs Lead of the CANS foundation, the school campaign will begin Friday, the 19th November 2021, and the goal of the campaign is to sensitize students on human rights violations in Nigeria and how to seek protection in the event of harassment by rogue law enforcement officers.
According to him, ‘’Young people are at the receiving end of law enforcement harassment. young men are likely to be victims of these cruel acts simply because of stereotypes. It is, therefore, necessary to put the solutions in the hands of our young ones and show them how to use it.
He also added that ‘’we have an opportunity to kickstart this campaign at the University of Abuja and, we are looking forward to having this campaign launched in other institutions of higher learning across the country. If knowledge is truly power, then the first way to protect ourselves is to ways to protect ourselves and, this is the aim of the campaign’’.
The theme of the Campaign represents, getting help through Backup, a law enforcement brutality digital intervention solution developed by the CANs foundation in collaboration with the Open society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). The project was unveiled in response to the October 2020 Endsars protests which called for urgent technology solutions to the issues of Police brutality in Nigeria.
Backup works by allowing users to quickly make reports of incidents of police brutality to their friends and loved ones, who are registered as ‘Emergency Contacts” on the application. The objective of the project centers around creating an effective system for intervention and data collection in cases of police brutality, likewise improving the number of case management and preventive issues in law enforcement brutality.
The Getbackedup school campaign holds amidst new judicial findings of the Nigerian army’s involvement in the Lekki toll incident of October 2020. The campaign will strive to sensitize university students of tackling situations of violations and leveraging Backup as a more peaceful platform for handling law enforcement harassment.
The CANs foundation has over the years launched other digital intervention solutions such as UNSUB, a mobile application for gender-based violence reporting and ENGAGE, a crowdsourcing platform that allows citizens to summon governments to act in areas where change is needed. Likewise, RISE, a platform that connects people in need to people of means in Nigeria has recorded great success since its launch.