By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed worry over the non-domestication of the Child Rights Act(CRA) by eleven States out of the nineteen Northern States in the country.
Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office, Mr. Bhanu Pathak while addressing Journalists to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the World Children’s Day, said that domestication of the Act is the
only legal framework needed for protection of the rights of children in the country
Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Bauchi, Bhanu Pathak while addressing Journalists to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the World Children’s Day,emphasised that domestication of the Act is the only legal framework needed for protection of the rights of children in the country.
The UNICEF chief who listed Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe and Jigawa among the eleven states that are yet to ratify the Child Rights Act in the North, appealed to the affected states to as a matter of necessity, domesticate the Act in order to provide a legal framework for the protection of the rights of children.
He noted that it is difficult to defend the rights of children without an enabling laws that will give legal backing to anything to be done for the children in terms of rights protection.
According to him, “Ratifying child rights law in the remaining eleven northern states will help to put in place policies and initiatives for the protection of the child. It’s difficult to operate without law, and it’s difficult to prosecute violators of children’s rights if there’s no legal framework”.
He added that “In Nigeria, only 25 states have enacted the law so far. The states which are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act are from the northern part of Nigeria. I call on all these states to domesticate the Nigeria Child Rights Law to provide a legal framework for the protection of the rights of children in their respective states.”,
He said the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the CRC and the World Children Day is a unique opportunity to raise global awareness on the rights of children and put children issues on the front burner of national, sub-national and international discourse.
Bhanu Pathak further said that as part of activities marking the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), various iconic structures across the country will be lit blue, including the Emir of Bauchi’s palace.
According to UNICEF, the eleven states yet to ratify the Child Rights Act are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano Katsina, Kebbi, Yobe, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
Commenting on education, Mr. Bhanu Pathak lamented the 10 million out of school children in the country, and urged state governments, parents, communities, traditional and religious leaders and all stakeholders to ensure that children are enrolled in school and complete a quality education.
He also appealed to the media to bring issues of malnutrition, immunization, Child protection issues such as girl Child marriage and lack of access to portable water to the front burner of national issues in order to influence policy makers to address these issues.
He then reiterated his call on state governments of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Plateau and Taraba State to put in place policies, initiatives and implement programmes that will lead to the realisation of the rights of children.
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Source: Non – domestication of The Child Rights Act By 11 Northern States Worries UNICEF
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