Zaria (Kaduna State) – The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Kaduna State Office, has urged communities in Kaduna State to support stakeholders push for the adoption of the Child Rights Law (CRL) in the state.
Malam Abdulgani Bala, the commission’s Public Affairs Officer in the state, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria on Monday.
NAN reports that the commission recently organised a stakeholders’ validation meeting in Zaria on the re-drafted Kaduna State Child Rights Law.
He said that domesticating the law in the state was long overdue.
According to him, the law, if passed, will go a long way in curbing the soaring rate of child abuse in the state.
“Previous attempts failed because of public misconception about the purpose and significance of the law, which necessitated extensive awareness campaign by relevant stakeholders to enlighten the public.
“But not much would be achieved without community support and involvement, which remains very crucial to the eventual passage of the law.
“We are therefore, soliciting the support of all communities and relevant institutions in the state, so that together, we can achieve the goal of creating an enabling environment for the development of our children.’’
Bala said that the law would equally help institutions, organisations and all stakeholders engaged in child protection in seeking redress on issues of child rights violations in the state.
He noted that currently, institutions involved in protection and promotion of human rights were faced with serious challenges, due to the absence of legal instrument with which to effectively address child welfare issues.
“In most cases, where a state does not provide a law for the protection of the child, we rely on federal laws, constitution and other national and international instruments that have to do with human rights.
“But they slow down our efforts because there are no clear provisions in such instruments that specifically address child issues.
“But with the law in place, everyone will know his or her limitations — the parents, the child, care givers and all relevant authorities handling children issues.
“It will equally not only help in seeking redress, it will also help in educating the public on the limitations of their action; what they can do to a child and what they are not supposed to do to a child.’’
He added that the passage of the law would further ensure holistic development of a child by providing the required atmosphere for physical, emotional and intellectual development of children among others. (NAN)