September 20, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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NGO commits to developing national policy for safeguarding children

Nigerian children

Nigerian children

By Blessing Onyeaka
Saffron Social Development Global Foundation (Saffron-SDGF) an NGO, has announced that it was working to develop a national policy on safeguarding children, aimed at keeping children safe from all forms of abuse.

Ms Opeyemi Eyuruntari, Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, disclosed this at her Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures presentation at a National forum, in Abuja.

Eyuruntari said that the foundation was aware of other policies working for children like the Child Rights Act, but that the safeguarding policy was specifically aimed at bringing early intervention to protect children, before any significant harm was done.

She added that the policy would be drawn from the existing policies on ground for children as well as fill the gaps in previous policies.

A safeguarding policy, known as the Lagos state Child Protection Policy, was already being implemented in Lagos state, she said, adding that there was need to have a national policy that would work across the federation.

According to her, the policy is to be used wherever services are provided for children, while also providing a broad framework and expectations to protect children and prevent abuse.

“The safeguarding policy is about preventive measures we’ve put in place to stop children from getting harmed instead of sitting back and waiting for this harm to happen.

“One of the major things that is in this policy is the fact that every child-centred organisation needs to have a child protection and safeguarding policy.

“Also, every institution should have a designated safeguarding officer, because they are the point of contact. They will be trained to be able to identify and do a quick assessment of situations,” she said.

Saffron SDGF is a non-governmental organization with a specific interest in building better societies across nations.

Its Director of Programmes, Ms Ngozi Ojiako, said: “Saffron was registered in Nigeria in 2015, because we saw the need for the Nigerian child to be safeguarded. Our aim is to ensure that the Nigerian child is safe.”

Ojiako reiterated that the policy was to ensure that every child, in every village, local government, community and state, in the country is safe.

She noted that the presentation of the Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures was the second call, the first call for action being made on the May 25.

The programmes’ director also stressed the need for partnership as the key to social development, saying that stakeholders including government agencies and private organisations should, therefore, sign up and be committed to the policy.

NAN reports that representatives from National Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Women Affairs, NGOs like Even Charity Nigeria, Eagle Hope Foundation, Youth empowerment Foundation, among others, attended the forum. (NAN)

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