BusinessDay

Buhari urges states to domesticate child rights act

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged state governments to domesticate and effectively implement the Child Rights Act 2003 (CRA) and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) to protect the rights of children.

He made the call during the National Children’s Day celebration organised by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja.

The president, who was represented by the minister of FCT, Muhammed Bello, expressed concern over the increasing cases of violence, child marriage, rape, kidnapping and other challenges affecting children.

He said there was need for stakeholders to support government to end harmful practices, provide safe spaces and strengthen mechanisms for the protection of children and prosecution of perpetrators.

“I assure you that the government is doing all it can to ensure that these things are curtailed to the barest minimum, ‘’ he said.

The president also reiterated his administration’s commitment toward protecting the lives of citizens, review policies that would protect children and usher in more development in the country.

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The minister of state for FCT, Ramatu Tijjani-Aliyu, said the day was to highlight issues affecting children, with the aim of proffering solutions to them.

Tijjani-Aliyu, who was represented by the secretary, special duties, Hajiya Hadiza Kabir, urged all to wake up to their responsibilities and ensure ill-treatment meted on children were addressed and their potential harnessed.

Similarly, Pauline Tallen, minister of women affairs, said the 2022 theme for the celebration “strengthening supportive systems for the protection of the Nigerian child: A wake-up call,’’ was a call to action.

Tallen, who was represented by the director, economic service in the ministry, Idris Mohammed, urged stakeholders to partner government in reversing ugly trends affecting children, which would secure their future.

She added that Nigeria, being a signatory had ratified many international and regional treaties, charters and conventions such as the Child Rights Act to protect them from violence and abuse.

The minister disclosed that 31 states have so far domesticated the Child Rights Act 2003, adding that advocacy was ongoing to ensure the remaining states do the same.

Highlights of the day were cultural display and parade competition by children representing various schools in the FCT.

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