Senate moves to domesticate Child Rights Act in 13 states
The Senate yesterday moved to domesticate the Child Rights Act in 13 states, where the law had not been implemented. This was consequent upon the adoption of a motion on “2017 Children’s Day Celebration” sponsored by nine senators, who included the Deputy Minority Whip, Biodun Olujimi.
According to the lawmakers, the violation of this Act is responsible for the high rate of child labour, cultism and illiteracy that is prevalent among a sizeable population of the children.
The Senate mandated the committee on Women Affairs to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to ensure that there is total compliance with the unnamed defaulting states.
In the lead debate, Olujimi stated the significant role that the Nigerian child is playing in national development and the need to lay the right foundation to secure their future through a proper domestication.
But the lawmakers regretted that the Child Rights Act, 2003, which clearly defined a new child protective system and permits for opportunities, was only implemented in 23 states and Abuja
They also noted that some states had ignored the Universal Basic Education Act, 2004, adding that this legislation was made to make the education of the Nigerian child free, compulsory and enforceable right.
It spelt out penalties for parents and guardians who fail or neglect the obligation. The Senate acknowledged that a proper system of education and good health was indispensable in making a child relevant in the global scheme of things.
The lawmakers expressed worry about the growing rate of infant mortality, which has risen to one million per annum in the country, due largely to poor nutrition and inadequate medical facilities.