Written by Ere-ebi AGEDAH

Group advocates for child protection rights

In commemorating Day of the African Child, a group under the aegis, El- Meela Heritage Support Foundation has called on the government, civil societies and all relevant stakeholders to protect the rights of Children especially the vulnerable and less privileged ones.

According to the group, no child should be left behind in benefitting from the wealth imbedded in the country because if they are left uncatered for there is a high tendency for such children to end up becoming a menace to the society.

The group which paid a visit to the Gurku Interfaith Relocation IDP camp in Nasarawa state stated that children affected by insurgency require adequate intervention which must not be left to government alone as any investment in a child toady will affect the future of thenation.

Lamenting on the state of Neglect experienced by most children in IDP camps around the country, National Coordinator of the group, Bar Jamila Isah noted that the group will continue to advocate for the immediate implementation of the child rights act which was yet to beadopted by some states.

According to her, there must exist an overarching principle which provides an overall inclusive development for underage children that keeps children at the centre beneficiaries in the drive towards economic development.

“Children form majority of our population in Nigeria so this year 2018 theme highlights the need to ensure that no child is left behind by specifically targeting those who are not benefiting from Africa’s growth and development.

‘‘Failing to invest in essential services and protection for all children does not just deny them their rights but will incur higher costs later in terms of lost lives, wasted potentials and reduced productivity’’ she said.

She however added that a visit to the IDP camp was to identify with the plight of the children through a show of love as the group presented some educational materials to the children.
Secretary of the camp Mr Ibrahim Adawara noted that the major challenge faced by the IDPs was Medical care and lack of Educational as the camp housed a number 1, 205 individuals.

According to him most of their children have not had access to formal education since they were displaced from their home state of Borno and Adamawa because their parents are poor farmers who cannot fund theireducation.

He however thanked the El-Meela Foundation for the visit adding that the gesture will encourage other groups’ to visit the camp which was rear.

The Day of the African Child is celebrated every year on 16th of June since 1991 which was first initiated by the OAU for African Unity to honour those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976. It also raises awareness of the continuous need for improvement of education provided to African Children.




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