Posted by Charles Onyekwere, Enugu | 3 October 2017 | 1,865 times
As part of its commitment towards the full implementation of the Child Rights Act, the Enugu State Government is set to establish family courts.
This was disclosed yesterday by the commissioner for gender affairs in the state, Hon. Mrs. Peace Nnaji.
This came with applauds for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from the Enugu State Children’s Parliament and the Campaign for the Defence of Children, CDC, at a joint meeting organised to review the level of implementation of the Child Rights Act.
The commissioner had in response to issues raised by the children over the low level of awareness on the act, assured that the Governor was at the fore-front of championing its full implementation.
Nnaji, represented by Mr. Romanus Eze, the Director, Child Development in the ministry, during the meeting organised by LYNX Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, noted that efforts were on top gear to make the Act a household name.
He said: “The fact that it has been passed is no longer news, what we are pushing for now is for full implementation. We are working at the moment to get the act published so that everybody in the state will become aware of it.
“In addition to this, we have set machinery in motion to put in place Child Rights Implementation Committee at the 17 council areas in the State as well as at the State level.
“Arrangements are also in top gear to establish family courts because if we don’t have it in place, it will jeopardise the full implementation of the law. The court will handle offenders easily and other people who abuse the right of children will sit up.”
Earlier, the National Programme Officer of LYNX Nigeria, Mr Ganiyu Ibikunle, commended the Enugu State Government for demonstrating leadership in the area of Child Rights Act.
He said the organisation’s partnership with the Ministry of gender affairs in the state, which is visible in nine secondary schools in the state, had yielded immeasurable dividend.
“We are delighted with what we have seen today that so much impact has been made in the area of awareness on the part of the children, but much still needs to be done.
“In this success story, we commend in a very special way the Governor of Enugu State and the commissioner for gender, who have both tirelessly worked to better the lots of children in this state.
“While we thank the Governor for this bold step, we urge other stakeholders to collaborate with us in making sure that the rights of these children are secured,” Ibikunle noted.
Meanwhile, the children groups had during their presentations lauded Ugwuanyi for championing the passage and the signing of the bill.
They, however, passionately appealed that efforts should be intensified towards checkmating other issues affecting children such sexual abuse, street hawking, maltreatment both in school and at home, poverty, health, lack of parental care and cultism.
Similarly, in a communique issued after the meeting, the children groups re-echoed their demand for the total implementation of the act.
The communique was signed by Master Anitube Christopher and Hon. Oragwu Nkemakonam, the President, Committee for Defence of the Children and the Speaker Enugu State Children’s Parliament, respectively.
It reads: “On the case of violence against children/maltreatment, we the member of Enugu State Children’s Parliament and the Committee for Defence of the Children members are calling on the Government to create a mechanism where such cases will be reported and any one found quilt should be punishment severely.
“We are also calling on the Government to address the issues of cultism in our state by ensuring that students are mentored on the effect and dangers of cultism so as to bring an end to cultism in the state and secure the future of our children
“Government should give free education and scholarship to the less privileged ones and those from poor background, in order to ensure that every child acquires formal education because it is their right.
“The Government of Enugu State should apply corrective measures to any family that denies their child of education by giving the child things to hawk during school hours. Hawking will not only endanger the life of such child but will also make them irrelevant to the society at large.
“Government should provide free health facilities for children, so as to have an opportunity to survive and thrive in the society.
“The Children’s Parliament and the Committee for Defence of the Children are calling on the Government of Enugu State to put a good implementation mechanism in place for child Right law in Enugu State.
“The Children Parliament and CDC have resolved to visit his Excellency the Governor of Enugu State, RT Hon, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for set up Child’s Rights Implementation Committee in Enugu State.
“The CDC and Children’s parliament are calling on the Government of Enugu State to create a social media platform and Child Help Line for reporting any child issues like Child Abuse and Neglect etc.
“The CDC and Children parliament have resolved that the Empowered Child Publication (Magazine) be used as another media of collecting report on child right cases.
“Government of Enugu state should set up a family court at both local and state government levels where cases concerning Children can be reported and addressed.”
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