By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Fulfilling Dreams Foundation, has appealed to the Kwara Government on the need to implement the Child Rights Law through establishment of more family courts in the state.
The foundation’s Executive Director, Hajia Nimot Labaika, made the call in Ilorin on Saturday.
She said her appeal was aimed at sensitising the public on the implementation of Child Rights Law in Kwara.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the foundation is an implementing partner of USAID and Palladium project titled: “Implementation of Child Rights Law”.
Five organisations across the North Central Zone including: Nasarawa, Benue, Kwara, Platuea and Niger are implementing the project which is being sponsored by USAID Palladium.
Labaika advocated for the establishment of more family courts in the state as a way of ensuring quick dispensation of justice on matters relating to children.
She explained that more family courts should be established, especially at the senatorial level, if not in each of the local government areas.
“We have only one family court that sits twice in a week. The cases are enormous and we cannot afford to deny these children of their rights.
“We are also demanding for the establishment of Juvenile Homes so that our children can be kept if they have any problem.
“We are also looking for the establishment of safe space for girls. We know we have Boaster Home which is for the Federal Government to keep and reform male minors,” she said.
The activist also urged government at all levels to make budgetary provision for the full implementation of child right law.
She expressed the need for a structure called child right implementation committee, which needs fund to function.
“Without fund, they cannot do their duties effectively in protecting the right of these children including right to life, education, good health and love and care within the community,” she said.
Labaika advised parents to equip their children with sound education for them to become responsible citizens, while urging parents to patronise public schools if they can’t afford private schools.
“There is UNESCO law which makes education free, quality and compulsory for children.
“Public schools too are doing well because they have quality teachers and infrastructural facilities are also being upgraded. So, they should not leave their children at home.
“Children are not supposed to hawk during the school hours. The children right law provides that every child of school age must be at the school during the school hours. So, whoever violates this provision must be sanctioned,” she said.
Labaika said the full implementation of child right law domesticated by some states in Nigeria, had not seen the light of the day.
She added that the foundation and other implementing partners are championing the cause of ensuring full implementation of the law across states.
The activist said the rally was to sensitise the public on the existence of the law and its full implementation.
“The rally is to bring all stakeholders together and let people know that there is a law and whoever that violates the law, will be penalised,” she said.
She described the children as leaders of tomorrow and emphasised the need for stakeholders to adequately protect their rights.
“Many of them have been deprived their basic right to education, health, love and care. Everybody including parents and guardians must know that these children the right of these children must be respected and protected.”
Laibaika urged the people to take advantage of the law to prosecute offenders even before the full implementation of the child rights law.
She said that it was in the interest of the state to protect the rights of the child in any circumstance, while reiterating the resolve of the organisation help get it fully implemented. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Yinusa Ishola/Julius Toba-Jegede