22nd September, 2021
The Lagos State Government in conjunction with the United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) on Tuesday organised a capacity building for key stakeholders in school management on Gender Based Violence (GBV).
This is in an effort to tackle the menace of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and the prevention of child domestic/sexual abuse.
Addressing the participants who were drawn from schools in the state, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Dr. Aina Olugbemiga noted that the basis for the organisation of the capacity building is to share knowledge and present stakeholders with the opportunity to interact with Government MDAs directly involved in providing intervention on sexual/domestic abuse of young people.
Represented by Mr Saka Abdulateef, a director in the ministry, the Permanent Secretary stated that school system plays an essential role in protecting children from abuse because they have regular contact with children.
“The role of the school system cannot be over-emphasised as they have regular contact with children and young people, so they are in a strong position to identify signs of abuse and neglect. So school system is key in the reduction of the menace of sexual abuse and domestic violence among our adolescents in schools”.
The permanent secretary noted that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been at the forefront of tackling the menace with the recent signing of the legislation transforming the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) into a full-blown agency.
The DSVRT legislation, according to him, provides for the establishment of Sexual Offenders’ Register that would help the State efficiently tackle violations in the communities thereby nipping child domestic/sexual abuse in the bud.
Aina also stated that the ministry of youth and social development in collaboration with UNFPA had designed Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) into the curriculum of non-formal vocations and technical centers in the state thereby providing a framework for the acquisition of knowledge of self and family living.
Dr Esther Somefun, the coordinator of UNFPA, Southwest zone stated that the organisation has zero tolerance for all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse hence the collaboration with the ministry of youth and social development to organise a capacity building for stakeholders in school management in order to create a safe haven for students whereby the right of learners are protected.
She noted that Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is creating a dangerous learning environment for children as studies have shown that it’s not only the girl-child that is affected but also boys are at risk therefore, there is a need to create more awareness about the menace.
The workshop featured presentation from various speakers and a round-table discussion with participants expressing appreciation to the State Government for organising such programme.