2nd March, 2012
The Lagos State Government on Thursday declared zero tolerance for any form of child abuse in the state.
The Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who made this declaration at a news conference in Lagos, said some parents and guardians still maltreated their children and wards in spite of the sensitisation campaigns the government had mounted to get them to change their ways.
“We owe it a duty as a government to protect every child. Our administration has taken many proactive and preventive steps which included the passage of the Child’s Right Law in 2007,” Orelope-Adefulire said.
According to her, “child abuse refers to any form of physical, psychological, social, emotional or sexual maltreatment of a child whereby the survival, safety, self-esteem and full development of the child are endangered.
“As from Monday (March 5), we will begin to clamp down on perpetrators of child abuse, which include sexual harassment of any kind, denial of education, child labour, child intimidation and molestation, teenage pregnancy, child trafficking, psychological abuse and maltreatment of orphans and vulnerable children.
“The penalty for child abuse comes with jail term or option of fine but the amended law, when passed, will be life jail. Be aware and respect the Child’s Rights Law in Lagos.
She said Lagos would not provide a hiding place or safe haven for rapists and child traffickers from other states.
“The long arm of the law will reach them, “Orelope-Adefulire said.
Orelope-Adefulire urged parents and guardians to protect and show love to their children and wards, adding that child abusers would face the wrath of the law when apprehended.
She said abused children were prone to all sorts of vices, depression and frustration, adding that “every child has rights to protection, development, participation and survival.
The deputy governor also disclosed that the government would soon implement a law on domestic violence.