FG bans hotels in Nigeria from lodging underage girls

Underage

Some rescued sexually exploited underage girls

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The Federal Government of Nigeria has banned the lodging of underage girls in hotels across the country with effect from June 20, 2024.

Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye disclosed this on Saturday in Abuja.

According to online reports, she was speaking at the graduation and grant ceremony of participants of the ‘Unlock Training Programme.’

Mrs Kennedy-Ohanenye warned of severe measures against any hotel found to be lodging underaged girls.

The event was organised by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Education, Madam Abiola Arogundade.

Kennedy-Ohanenye also warned hospitals to stop rejecting emergency cases they can handle because there are many complaints about such practice.

She said, “I just want to say something to the beneficiaries today.

“I hope you saw the video circulating about our girls taken to Ghana. You are going to hear our action on Monday.

“From the 20th, in all hotels, there will not be lodging of underage girls. I mean it. No more lodging of underage girls; no more bullying.

“And in the hospitals, no more rejection of emergency cases.

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“These are some of the major issues we are addressing. Any hospital that does that, I will call on all Nigerians, I am proud of Nigerians, the way you are using social media to attack issues.

“This is the time for action; let all of us buckle down because if any emergency case is rejected, I am calling on all Nigerians.

” This fight is not only for one person; it is for all of us.”

Investigations by Our Correspondent, however, reveal that under the Child Rights Law in Nigeria, also known as the Child Rights Act (CRA), enacted in 2003 to protect the rights and well-being of children in the country. It defines a child as anyone under the age of 18.

He or she has the right to life, survival, and development: Children have the right to life, survival, and development, including access to education, healthcare, and social services.

“Protection from abuse and exploitation: Children are protected from all forms of abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as exploitation, including child labour and trafficking.

“Right to education: Children have the right to free and compulsory education, including access to quality education and equal opportunities.

” Right to healthcare: Children have the right to access healthcare services, including reproductive healthcare and mental health services.

“Protection from child marriage: The law prohibits child marriage and sets the minimum age for marriage at 18.”

Others include protection from discrimination: Children are protected from discrimination based on their race, gender, language, religion, or any other status.

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