By Gabriel Ewepu and Fortune Eromosele – Abuja
An international Civil Society Organization, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, Tuesday, began the capacity building of members of Child Rights Implementation Committee, CRIC, across the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for effective discharge of their duties in order to achieve goals of the Child Rights Act.
The Advisor and Team Lead on the Mobilizing Action Towards the Abolition of Infanticide, MATAI Project, AAN, Ubong Tommy, explained the essence of the training organised by the MATAI Project funded by European Union, EU, and implemented by ActionAid Nigeria, which is to adhere to the Child Rights Act 2003 that stipulates all Area Councils should set up a local committee to ensure the implementation of its contents and that of other regional and continental instruments on the rights and welfare of children.
According to Tommy the training for the five Area Councils on Child Protection and Case Management that was held in Kwali, headquarters of Kawli Area Council, Abuja, is for the two new CRICs inaugurated by Abaji and Kwali Councils is to necessitate the need to train its new members on the tasks they are expected to perform.
He said: “The project aims at reaching 100 social workers, however, the background to this training is that previously we noticed that Kwali area council and Abaji area council did not have functional Child Rights Implementation Committees, CRICs, and in line with the Child Rights Act of 2003 that stipulates the necessity to have such committees in place to carry out case management functions and awareness.
“We supported these area councils to set up the child rights implementation committees and now we are also supporting them by providing training for these committees so that they can immediately start work.
“We hope that the government can provide more funding for child protection in Nigeria. We are hoping that the various budget lines we have kept for children we hope that they can actually be funded and the funds released for the children in the communities, especially in the FCT.
“For already existing CRICs in AMAC, Gwagwalada, and Kuje, this training will come as a refresher and experience sharing opportunity.”
He added that the capacity building will create an engagement platform between government stakeholders, Civil Society Organisations, and community structures on the phenomena of infanticide and how to address challenges in the implementation of the Child Rights Act and Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act.
He (Tommy) also explained that the CRIC is expected to address issues relating to infanticide as well as other harmful practices against children, which he said has been established at the local level and will be linked to the state and national level with clear pathways for taking up and addressing issues of child rights violation.
He noted that ActionAid Nigeria Implemented the Mobilizing Action Towards the Abolition of Infanticide, MATAI, in the FCT with funding from the European Union and support from partners like the Rule of Law and Accountability, RoLaC project, Vine Heritage Home, VHH, and the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
Also speaking, Desk Officer, Kwali Area Council, Alhassan Sadiq, said the training will address anomalies identified in communities that seem to have no solution.
“The training has given us limelight on how we can be able to address some anomalies that have been happening in our community that seems not to have solutions. Based on this training it has given an idea on how we can manage and make sure to take those children to their normal status”, Sadiq said.
Speaking in the same vein, Lead Team Rights of the Child, National Human Rights Commission, Sadiatu Shettima, expressed optimism that with the training members of CRC will perform better on their assignment.
“The training is really coming at the right time because the people we are training, that is the CRIC, will be like the people that will go and Implement this Child Right Act.
“They are also the individuals that will help protect children, report cases of children, and give them redress whenever the need arises. The commission has done a lot in the area of children, like cases of rape. We have an investigative panel that ensures we bring perpetrators to justice”, Shettima added.