By Jovitta Iorshase
The Executive Director, Centre for Women, Youth and Community Action (NACWYCA), Dr Nawari Aboki has solicited the support of media to advocate for the implementation of the Child Rights Law (CRL) in the various states.
Dr Aboki made the call at a two-day media training workshop on Child Rights Law, held November 22-23, 2022 at the Nasarawa Luxury Hotel, Lafia, Nasarawa State.
He explained that, the aim of the workshop was to keep media practitioners abreast with the content of the child right law, for better knowledge, and sensitise the public through in-depth advocacy on the need to implement the Child Right Law.
He further stressed that, the full implementation of Child Rights Law was key for the well-being of the child, especially in those five states: Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Kwara and Nasarawa where these laws have already been put in place.
“The media training on Child Rights Law comes under, the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project aimed at soliciting media support for NACWYCA, through thorough media advocacy, to establish family courts, train a good number of advocates,” he stated.
The director, urged media personnel to drive home NACWYCA’s message to government on four key contributors, which are: establishment of family courts, practice direction in high courts, building of juvenile homes (Remand), safe spaces etc for children in conflict with the law or revive abandoned ones and provide funds to support all the structures to function, in order to reduce the increasing wave of child abuse in the society.
The Programme Manager, Mrs Ozioma Ihuoma, in her presentation revealed that about 60% of the child rights are abused unknowingly by parents, guardians and even teachers from both public and private schools, worship centres etc.
Mrs Ihuoma also explained that, the right of the child which begins from the womb must be respected by what the mother eats, does, wears etc and cautioned parents who use abusive words, comments on the child to desist, as the damage is similar to physical abuse.
“Poor feeding of a child, invading a child’s right to privacy, non monitoring of bodyweight, depriving children of recreational activities both at home and schools, teachers attitude towards a child’s food are some abuses children are exposed to unknowingly yet affecting them psychological,” she explained.
She added that, the five year duration of the SCALE project, which is sponsored by UNAIDS and Pavilion, was subject to renewal, based on NACWYCA performance through, thorough media advocacy to achieve positive results.
The Benue State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Michael Inalegwu also assessed the workshop as educative and eye opening to various aspects of the child right law.
Inalegwu said, he gained ample knowledge on the existing law, at what level it was, and promised to do his bit for the implementation of the law in Benue.
“I have gained a lot of knowledge in this workshop, it is educative and eye opening to new areas of the child right law, and I promise to do my bit to liaise with the government for the quick implementation of the law in Benue state, to limit the surge of child abuse cases,” he stated.
He also noted that, if the law is not implemented to address issues of child abuse then number of bandits, terrorists etc will continue to increase, affecting every body.
Some participants, who shared their views called on some parents to desist from certain religious and cultural beliefs like concealing the rape of a child to avoid stigma, which turns to cause more future damage on such a child who eventually becomes an adult.
Speaking separately, Nankling Daspan from Plateau and Tobitola Adebisi from Kwara both agreed that, the workshop has broadened their knowledge on some abuses against the child they were not aware of. They also promised to advocate more for the implementation of the child rights law in their states.
Highlight of the event were, radio discussion, production of jingles on girl child, debate, coalition building among others.