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Engaging a child as house help will land you in big trouble - Minister warns

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Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye

By Justina Auta

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye issued stern warnings against the engagement of children below 18 years as house help as well as maltreatment of vulnerable persons and other domestic violence.

She spoke during the parade of Anambra-based lawyer, Adachukwu Okafor, who was recently arrested for allegedly assaulting her 10-year-old house-help was paraded by the police in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to the Minister, the prevalence of child abuse, child labour, maltreatment, assault and other violence meted out on children would not be condoned.

She stressed that the government would no longer tolerate such acts, and severe punishment await perpetrators of inhuman treatment.

Kennedy-Ohanenye added that apart from the domestication and implementation of the Child Rights Act and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and others, the government would implement other strategies to stop the practice, as it has recently become prevalent in many parts of the country.

The minister said “thank you Mr President for the power given to me to be able to protect the rights of women and children, and I am telling Nigerians no more taking a child under 18 as househelp.

“We are launching all sorts of measures to protect women and children.

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“As you employ a child under 18 years, the police will not rest and I also will not rest, until we stop all these societal ills and prosecute offenders.”

On his part, ACP Olumiyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), assured thorough investigation and prosecution of such related cases.

Adejobi, who was represented by CSP Olabisi Okuwobi, the National Coordinator, Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices, urged Nigerians to take the warning against employment of underage children as househelps seriously.

He said “this should serve as a note of warning to those who use little children for child labour in the first place.

“And also a note of warning to those who abuse vulnerable people or young people in our society.

“The Nigeria Police Force has zero tolerance for domestic violence and abuse of minors and vulnerable persons.”

All the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory have domesticated the Child Rights Act of 2003.
Also, 35 states and the FCT have domesticated the VAPP Act of 2015 to strengthen systems for the prevention and response services against violence and other harmful practices affecting children. (NAN)
JAD/NCI/HA
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Edited by Nkiru Ifeajuna/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
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