Children’s Day : NHRC ,CALDEV collaborate against violation of children’s rights

The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) and the Children of Africa Leadership and Values Development Initiative (CALDEV) have expressed willingness to work together against all forms of violation of the rights of Nigerian children.

The two organisation made this known when a delegation of CALDEV officials and school children paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of NHRC on Monday in Abuja.

Bamidele Salam, Founder and President of CALDEV, who led the delegation, said the visit was part of stakeholders engagement to rally support for the rights of Nigerian children as they mark the International Children’s Day.

According to Salam, who represents Ede North,South/Egbedero/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State at the Federal House of Representatives, there is a gap on issues affecting children in Nigeria in spite of the Child Rights Act.

‘One of those gaps is the one that has to do with children’s rights to education, and is sad that in the whole world, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-schoo
l children.

According to UNICEF, about 17.5 million children do not have access to education in Nigeria today, and over 15 million are involved in forced labour.

‘Children have been victims of violence in their homes, violence in schools, violence even in religious places and violence in several spaces.

‘This is largely because there are inadequate measures to protect them from abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional trauma that they face.

‘I believe that an occasion like this should be used to drum up the awareness and ask for the intervention of government at all levels on addressing these problems.

‘So we are here today to further extend to you our hand of collaboration and readiness to work together with the National Human Rights Commission for the purpose of protecting the rights of Nigerian children.

‘Together we can raise awareness and initiate measures that will ensure that there are consequences for those who abuse the rights of children, because where there are no consequences, impunity
is bound to continue.

‘So we are asking the National Human Rights Commission to please focus more attention on the rights of children because they can hardly speak up for themselves,’ he said.

Salam therefore presented a formal proposal for a collaborative partnership with NHRC to the Executive Secretary

In his remarks, Mr Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary/CEO of NHRC commended CALDEV for the initiative and expressed his goodwill to Nigerian Children on the celebration of their day.

Ojukwu who was represented by Mr Harry Obe, Director in the Department of Economic,Social and Cultural Rights of NHR, said the commission has a department that is dedicated to issues of children and women.

He therefore expressed the commission’s readiness to collaborate with CALDEV in protecting the rights of the Nigerian child.

‘We also have programme areas that focus on issues of children because we believe that dealing with human rights abuses and violations is a question of vulnerability.

‘The fact that children are vuln
erable is not in doubt because of their age and circumstances they find themselves, they are subject to control and possible manipulation by older members of the society.

‘So there must be a dedicated effort like you have shown and then institutions like the NHRC must work with you to ensure that the children are protected from possible violations or abuses.

‘Our law envisage that we partner with civil society organisations, and for a civil society organisation that is focusing on a particular area that is within our mandate,we will work with you,’ he said.

Obe added that a committee comprising of members from both organisations would be set up to draft a memorandum of understanding for the collaboration.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria