It is important to note the instruments of human rights that Nigeria has accepted and claimed to support within its borders as an effort to join international movements to assert, maintain and monitor a foundational level of human rights standards. These instruments include treaties, doctrines and optional protocols.

Instruments that were ratified (in chronological order) include:

International Human Rights Documents Date Ratified
International Covention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) 16-Oct-67
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 23-Oct-67
Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees 2-May-68
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 22-Jun-83
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 23-Apr-84
Geneva Convention Realtive to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 10-Oct-88
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 19-Apr-91
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 29-Jul-93
Optional Protocol on ICCPR concerning individual petition
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) 29-Jul-93
United Nations Convention Against Corruption 9-Dec-03
Optional Protocol on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women 22-Nov-04

When Nigeria signed and ratified these various human rights documents, it was stating that those rights listed and the articles that address various human rights issues were to be adopted and followed in the country. However, Nigeria still has an assortment of arguable human rights violations, according to these documents, that cover first generation and second generation rights as well as a civil war that has been widely debated to be classified as genocide.