About us


Our History

WACOL was established in 1997 as an independent, non-political, non-governmental and non-profit organization; registered in 2000 as a company limited by guarantee i.e., as a charitable organization (RC: 388132) with the Corporate Affairs of Commission (CAC), Nigeria. WACOL’s vision is a democratic society free from violence and abuse, where human rights of all in particular women and young people are recognized in law and practice.  Its mission is to assist in the education, social, economic and political development of women and young people through a wide range of services: training, research, advocacy, shelter, free legal and financial aid, intra-familial/community conflict resolution, and information and library services. The organization works throughout Nigeria and in the West African sub-region and beyond.

What makes us diferent?

WACOL has established itself as a credible and committed organization whose work is well recognized beyond the shores of Nigeria. It has since 2001 an observer status with the African Union, African commission on human rights, and being also an NGO Special Consultative Status with the United Nations approved in 2010 by ECOSOC. WACOL is a formidable organization that can now boast of institutional capacity for sustainable work in the field of advancing human rights, gender equality, democracy and good governance.

WACOL Program and Projects

Key Outcomes

WACOL deploys the media and new technologies to promote awareness on human rights, gender equality and violence against women and girls (VAWG)/SGBV.

Specifically, on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), it has undertaken a number of actions in the last twenty years, including research, advocacy, legal aid and assistance to victims/survivors of human trafficking, shelter, public education and awareness of the ugly phenomenon of SGBV to break in particular the culture of silence and impunity surrounding SGBV. WACOL has contributed to the passage of laws protecting women, girls and persons with disability from violence. Notably, it advocated and got the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law of Enugu State passed in 2019. WACOL was also part of an advocacy and network of gender-focused organizations that also worked on and succeeded in getting the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015 passed by the National Assembly and subsequently signed into law by then President Goodluck Jonathan.


WACOL programme and projects are wide and varying and include: Research; Advocacy for law reform to benefit the disadvantaged, including women, children and persons with disability

Capacity Building

Capacity building on legislative advocacy for CSOs; Promoting women’s rights and access to justice under Sharia and Customary law; Legal education and awareness, including the training of paralegals

Promoting Women's Rights and Access to Justice

Provision of free legal aid and assistance to women and children whose human rights have been abused; Running of shelter for battered women; 

Meet The WACOL Board



Professor Joy Ngozi Ezeilo (OON), is a distinguished Law Professor, the Emeritus Dean of Law, University of Nigeria and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (2008-2014). Prof. Ezeilo holds a Ph.D. (Nig.), LLM (London), LL.B.(Nig.), BL, Diploma, Peace & Conflict Resolution (Uppsala). She is a versatile legal scholar recognized as a leading authority in the field of international human rights, especially on the rights of women and children in Africa. She founded Women Aid Collective (WACOL) and Tamar SARC as well as pioneered the teaching of women, children and the law in 1997, including developing a curriculum for the teaching of human rights,
health law and reproductive rights in Nigerian Universities and sexual harassment policy for educational institutions and workplaces. 


Celebrate With Us


WACOL is considered as the number one legal aid service provider for women and girls in Nigeria. For 25 years WACOL has been providing legal aid and assistance to approximately 62,000 women and girls.
Our free legal services include court representation, crisis intervention and counselling, information about victims’ rights, shelter, home visits and other psycho-social support for victims, and referrals for other needs.
We support clients to report incidents of sexual and gender based violence to the police and also ensure that each case is monitored and justice is gotten.