who we are

  • About CdhrNigeria

    The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) was formed in April, 1989. It started as a small group of professionals, individuals, friends and associates who felt concerned about the detention of the then trade unionist, Mr Femi Aborishade, who was incarcerated in 1989 by the Federal Military Government under the obnoxious State Security (Preventive Detention) Decree No. 2 of 1984. The group, then known as the "Free Femi Aborishade Committee" was formed to campaign for the release of Mr Aborishade from custody. However, owing to the fact that many Nigerians were eventually being detained under the said Decree while the campaign for Aborishade's release was on, wisdom dictated that an umbrella body be formed to defend, not only the rights of the detainees, but also the Fundamental Human Rights of all Nigerians on a permanent basis. Thus the Committee blossomed into a full-fledged Non-Governmental Organisation whose membership is open to all irrespective of political, ethnic, racial or religious background.


  • The CDHR operates at three levels. They are: the National, the State Branch and the Unit levels. At each level, there is an Executive Committee which is responsible for the implementation of decisions reached by the members. At the three levels, there is an Annual General Meeting where far reaching decisions are taken and periodic elections conducted by members/delegates. In addition, Branches and Units meet monthly.

    The National Executive Committee is assisted in the discharge of its functions by a

    NATIONAL SECRETARIAT manned by staff of the organisation. The National Secretariat building houses the CDHR National Resource Center which is open to the public for readings and research in national and international newspapers, magazines, newsletters, Journals, books and publications on human rights and allied themes. It also serves as operational base for the CDHR Human Rights and Legal Aid Clinic where victims of human rights violations lodge their reports which are received, processed and acted upon by project staffs. The National Secretariat is a hub for meetings by students, pro-democracy and human right activists, journalists, civil society organisations and members of the public.


  • 1.To defend, sustain and promote fundamental human rights guaranteed in the Nigerian Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and other international conventions and covenants on human rights.

    2.To campaign for the full implementation of human rights-particularly, cultural, economic and social rights. To advocate for the ratification and implementation of all international conventions and obligations aimed at promoting human rights in Nigeria.

    3.To advocate for the ratification and implementation of all international conventions and obligations aimed at promoting human rights in Nigeria.

    4.To establish a system of prompt and efficient assistance for needy persons whose human rights are violated.

    5.To ally with other organisations committed to the ideals of a Nigerian society founded on participatory democracy and social justice.

    6.To campaign for, promote and support legislations and other activities that are geared towards the improvement of human rights in Nigeria.

    7.To create and support research centres and programmes for the study, teaching and monitoring of human rights in Nigeria.

    8.To maintain close links and collaborate with other organisations with similar aims and objectives anywhere in the world.