By Aderogba George
The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development says it is unrelenting in the protection of children and other vulnerable groups in the country.
The Director, Child Development Department of the ministry, Mrs Jummai Mohammed, said this at the fourth quarterly meeting of national child right implementation committee on Friday in Abuja.
Mohammed said that Nigeria had shown great commitments toward protecting children and other vulnerable groups against all forms of abuse and exploitation.
She said that the commitments were through signing and ratification of charters, conventions, treaties and declaration at both regional and international levels.
According to her, at the National level, the enactment of Child Rights Act 2003 is particularly important, as it marks the domestication of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mohammed said that the Child Right Act (CRA) provides key principles relating to children’s rights, responsibilities and obligation of government, parents and other authorities as well as organisations.
“It is however disheartening to note that the Child’s Rights Law which seeks to protect children is domesticated in only 26 states of the federation after 18years of its passage by the Federal Government,” she said.
The director said that the convening of the meeting would enable the ministry to take stock of progress and collectively renew its commitment towards achieving the goals setting up the NCRIC as well as the State Child’s Rights Implementation Committee (SCRIC)
She also said that it would also help the Local Government Child’s Rights Implementation Committees.
“We need to also think outside the box to identify effective and more efficient ways of mobilising funds and support toward attaining our set goals to enhance the quality of life of our dear children,” Mohammed said.
She further gave assurance that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs was committed to working with partners to promote the well-being and proper development of the Nigerian Child.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Funsho Adebiyi, noted that inspired of the existence of the Child Right Act.
According to him, Nigerian children are still being abused, neglected and exploited due to lack of awareness of the Act.
Adebiyi said: “Government cannot fold its arms and allow few people to violate the rights of Nigerian children.
“National Child Rights implementation committee is expected to address issue relating to violations of Child Rights Act as well as other harmful practices against children.
“Lack of adequate awareness among the children, teachers, the opinion leaders, traditional institutes and religions leaders have been discouraged severally.
“The violation of the Child Rights Act has led to early marriage, brothel, sexual violence and other harmful act practices.
“To this end, we should do everything within our power to ensure that children and other vulnerable groups are protected from all forms of violence, discrimination, harassment and exploitation.” (NAN)