Kaduna – Stakeholders in child protection are to embark on massive awareness campaign as part of efforts to push for the domestication of the Child Rights Acts in Kaduna State, an official has said.
Mr Ibrahim Musa, Acting Director, Social Welfare and Child Development, Kaduna State Ministry of Women Affairs, told the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Tuesday.
Musa said that several residents of the state were still not aware of the contents of the Acts and the need for its domestication at the state level after the National Assembly did it in 2003.
According to him, the awareness campaign has become necessary to enlighten the public about the contents and gains of the acts following increasing rate of child abuse in the state.
“We have successfully reviewed the 2009 Kaduna State Draft of the Child Rights Law, courtesy of UNICEF.
“The next plan of action is to enlighten the public and relevant government authorities on why we need to protect our children from abuse and how the Child Rights Law can help in that direction.
“Unfortunately, we realised that most members of the house hold are not even aware of this law. There are so many gaps in awareness on the need for its enforcement.
“People are not informed about the contents of the law and what the society stands to gain from it.
“They need to be aware that it is not a law to entrap parents. Rather, it is a law that is trying to ensure children’s entitlement to welfare generally in the state, the basic need for their survival, simple laws and simple rights, need to live a good live.
“If we can orient the households, communities, local government authorities, and the state, I think we will be able to break the barrier“.
Musa said the enlightenment campaign would be done using media outfits, churches, mosques, community-based organisations and town-hall meetings.
The director said that the stakeholders would also carry out advocacy visits to relevant faith–based institutions, traditional rulers and government bodies, to seek their support.
“We will visit the Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) as well as Bureau for Religious Affairs to address and reconcile areas of conflicting opinions in the proposed draft of the Kaduna Child Rights Acts.
“We will also pay advocacy visits to traditional rulers and the Kaduna State House of Assembly to seek their support in the fight against child abuse, “he said.
Musa said that the stakeholders would include representatives from UNICEF, relevant NGOs, human rights commission, security agencies, the Ministry of Justice and faith-based organisations. (NAN)