By Fortune Eromosele
An international Civil Society Organization, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, Tuesday, has said that more sensitization programs needs to be conducted for all forms of abuse against children in Nigeria especially in the FCT.
Speaking during the training of Child Rights Implementation Committee (CRIC) members in Kuje-Abuja, Advisor and Team Lead on the Mobilizing Action Towards the Abolition of Infanticide, MATAI Project, AAN, Ubong Tommy, said that there is the need to create more awareness for all forms of abuse against children, for the safety of Children everywhere in Nigeria and in every community.
He added that “We need to raise more awareness, more awareness that there is a community like the CRIC, there is a law like the Child Rights Act and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act. We need to raise awareness of all these instruments and then begin to enforce the law. Things have changed and now the government is ready to show that they care for this children, people know now that these children are very valuable.”
Tommy maintained that these laws that have been enacted must be followed, laws such as the Child Rights Act of 2003 and the VAP act of 2015 and other regional global instruments that speak to the issues of the right of the child that can be used in the fight against infanticide. “We should be able to handle offenders speedily, people who break the Child Rights Act law and molest children, so that every child can get justice in whatever area they are abused,” he stressed.
He further stated that children need conducive environments to grow, adding that child protection could aid this, as it is simply shielding children from any form of exploitation or abuse. Tommy explained that the child rights act is subsumed under the need to protect every child to provide a conducive, loving and protective environment for all children to grow in.
According to him “We are attending to the children that are victims of infanticide across the FCT and currently there are 168 of them that we are attending too, and ensuring that we provide them with clean water, food, library, shelter, classrooms and All the things that they need to have in order to grow and have a balanced life like every other child. We are also working with various MDAs and government agencies to ensure that we address issues around maternal and child mortality in the communities.
“Also, we are beginning to engage and train Traditional Birth Attendants, TBAs, in partnership with the National Human Rights Commission and other ministries to ensure that women have the knowledge that they need in order to help other women deliver safely.”
Also speaking, Emmanuel Magaji, Desk Officer Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Practitioner and Paralegal Officer Concerning All Forms of Violence Against Children in Kuje Area Council, said that “This training will go a long way in curbing and even stop all forms of violence of children in the area council. It will also go a long way in sensitizing the CRICs to go to the communities and sensitize them on the acts of child abuse and how to put a stop to it, especially infanticide and killing of twins. The area council is doing enough in acting towards this goal.”
Speaking in the same vein, Lead Team Rights of the Child, National Human Rights Commission, Sadiatu Shettima, stated that the Human Rights Commission in partnership with ActionAid has done sensitization programs in five Area Councils of the FCT, namely AMAC, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Abaji and Kwali.
“Since the beginning of these programs, we have recorded a great decrease in the issue of infanticide in the FCT. A lot of people are now aware and now know that it is a punishable offence. Sensitization is apt and people must know what they are doing is bad and it’s dangerous. They need to know that anyone caught in the act will be taken to the court and be punished, if they know that, the killing of children will be reduced,” she added.