18th July, 2011
The need for parents and guardians to desist from abusing their wards formed the fulcrum of this yearâ€™s School Social Work Day organised by the Youth and Social Department of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development.
The event held at the Ikeja Grammar School, Oshodi, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, was attended by representatives of public school children drawn from the various schools in Lagos, officials of the youth ministry and experts in child development who came to deliver papers.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr. Kamol Junaid said the state government was more than ever before determined to compliment the school system towards assisting students who had been abused and traumatised and had been negatively affected and having difficulties settling down in schools.
â€œIt behoves us as parents and guardians to shun acts that may affect our wards from receiving good and qualitative education by not trampling on their rights which may affect them negatively.
â€œWorldwide, children experience violence, exploitation, abuse and are engaged in exploitative conditions of works or trafficked for labour in difficult conditions. Effective child protection depends therefore to a large extent on changing the mindset in communities so that attitudes, beliefs, among others against children can be changed,â€ he said.
According to him, the rights of children abused sexually, emotionally, physically, among others had no doubt been infringed upon, adding that every child needed an environment where laws, services, behaviours and practices minimised childrenâ€™s vulnerability to risk as well as strengthen their resilience.
Barrister Oladejo Olaniran of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State delivered a paper titled: Abuse on Children: Challenges, Legal Implications and Way forward.
According to him, the factors contributing to child abuse include failure of parents to discipline their children when they knew they should, inadequate day to day interaction between parents and their children; poor parenting, high rate of unemployment among youths and misuse of power by adults.
On the way forward, he said the need for open communications between the stakeholders in the field of child welfare was paramount, especially between the state, parents and the social workers with the view to enlightening the masses on the rights and privileges of every child to help stem child abuse.
â€œSocial workers need to recognise the potential impact of chromic adversity on parental morale and motivation in bringing up children and respond constructively to the concerns of parents.â€