Lagos Govt Pledges To Fight Women, Child Abuse


As Nigerian women joined their counterparts all over the world to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, Lagos State Government Thursday pledged its readiness to partner with Civil Society organisations and rights activists in the fight against women and child abuse.


To achieve this, the state has instituted appropriate laws to protect the rights of women and children.


The State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who made the pledge at the Lagos House, Ikeja while receiving Women Arise For Change Initiative, a coalition of women activist groups led by Dr. Joe Odumakin, said as the first to domesticate the Child Rights Law among the 36 states of the Federation, Lagos State has demonstrated its readiness to support any struggle to advance the cause of women and children in the state.


She recalled that when the bill was before the state House of Assembly, she was then the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and, as a former member of the House of Assembly, she lobbied the assembly to ensure the quick passage of the law.


The Deputy Governor, who stood in for the state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), noted that any abuse against children was an abuse against the society and the nation at large.


She pointed out that the child of any nation represents the future and continued existence of that nation.


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She said Lagos State has also gone beyond the domestication of the Child Rights Law to carry out advocacy among the populace in order to educate the people about their rights and what they should do in the event of being abused by anybody.


She added that this culminated in the issuing of the Yellow Card for the prevention of child abuse in Lagos, an advocacy card containing the rights of children and women under the law and the options open to them for redress in the event of abuse of those rights.


The Deputy Governor also listed other areas in which the state government has intervened in favour of the rights and protection of children and women to include free and qualitative education for children up to the secondary school level, establishment of skill acquisition centres where the women and young girls can be trained in various skills to enable them be self-supporting.


“We are doing everything to ensure that the children have very good learning environment. We are training their teachers and we are training the students also and giving them enabling environment for learning, for development and for protection”, the Deputy Governor said.


She appealed to parents to report cases of abuse of their children to the appropriate authorities pointing out that it would be difficult for Government to act on any matter which it does not hear about. “Look at the Yellow Card, our numbers are there, our e-mail addresses are there. Send your message to us and you can be sure our rescue team will be there within the hour to rescue you”, the Deputy Governor said.


According to the Deputy Governor, “We carried out the advocacy programme to ensure that nobody will claim that he or she does not know that there is a Law on Child Rights in place in the State”, adding that the monitoring team makes no less than 10 arrests a day.

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