Women Minister Appeals for Domestication of Child Rights Act in the North
The Nigerian Children’s future have been painted unsafe and bleak with constant challenges of violence, abuse and maltreatment by the government and society with perpetrators always getting free.
This verdict was given by the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Sen. Aisha Jumai Alhassan, during a press briefing and inauguration of the 6th National Children’s Parliament (NCP) in Abuja.
Alhassan said the event which was organised with the support of the European Union and the British Council- Rule of Law and Anti Corruption Programme as part of the activities marking the 2018 National Children’s Day Celebration with the theme: “Creating Safe Spaces for Children: Our Collective Responsibility”.
She said that the government has in collaboration with others stakeholders developed policies and executed series of programmes to ensure the safety and protection of children including: the 2017 Universal Day of the Child commemoration; meetings Child Protection System Strengthening learning Group on ending Violence Against Children (VAC), Child Protection System Strengthening (CPSS), Financial Benchmark Study (FBS), and Economic Burden of lViolence Against Children (EBVAC) among others.
However, she said that “despite all the stated interventions, the Nigerian Child is still not safe and is faced with all forms of challenges such as violence, abuse, exploitation, and maltreatment amongst others, on daily basis in the home, on the streets, in schools and childcare institutions”.
The Minister lamented that on many occasions, these abuses are perpetrated by family members or caregivers who are supposed to provide care, safety and protection to their children or wards.
She said: “It is worrisome to note that, the perpetrators of Violence against children are always not adequately brought to book. It is also unfortunate to note that children access to Justice is almost non-existent as some children are kept in detention centres just like adults and you see babies in prisons with thrir accused or convicted mothers.
“These situations are unfair and not acceptable and I call on the Security Agencies, Judiciary, National Human Rights Commission, NAPTIP, Legal Aid Council, Law Reform Commission, the National Assembly and orher relevant stakeholders to please ensure that these situations change by adequately bringing the perpetrators of Violence against children to book to serve as deterrence to others and also children to have access to justice.”
To this end, she challenged mostly northern states of Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Borno that are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act to do so in the interest of the children in their states and Nigeria.
In a related development, Alhassan commended the resuscitation of the National Children’s Parliament with the election of Principal Officers after five years the tenure of the last one expired.
She also inaugurated the 6th NCP with Kano State Representative, Hon. Maisara Abdul-Khadir Abbas as the new Speaker, who she challenged to ensure that his state (Kano) domesticates the Child Rights Act.
Also speaking, Speaker of the 5th Assembly of the NCP, Hon. Idara Thompson noted that their key campaign, when they were elected in 2011, was the passage of the Child Rights Act into law.
Thompson however, expressed disappointment at the non-functionality of the NCP for the last five years and slow pace in domestication of the Child Rights Act, especially the northern states.
He congratulated the newly elected principal officers and the entire members of the 6th Assembly, charging them to pursue the child rights advocacy with vigour and passion.
Kidnapped School ChildrenYauri FGC Students, Kebbi
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Baptist School Students, Kaduna
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Report By: PRNigeria.com