By Dipo Olowookere
A call has gone out to officials of the Nigeria Police Force, especially officers in the various gender units of the Police Divisions and other relevant stakeholders in the protection of children’s rights, to internalise the provisions of the Lagos State Child Rights Law.
Making the call today at One-Day Workshop and Training programme for police officers and relevant stakeholders on children matters at Alausa, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said that the State government will continue to equip police personnel, stakeholders and NGOs involved in Child Protection with necessary tools and information needed to ensure optimal protection of children in Lagos.
He explained that the training programme was meant to strengthen the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led Administration’s initiative tagged – “Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy”, adding that the policy was aimed at intensifying the protection of individuality and uniqueness of every child which gives clear and concise directions to all child centred organizations on various roles to play when contact exists with children.
The Permanent Secretary encouraged all individuals, Non-Governmental Organization and Corporate bodies to be alive to their responsibilities by giving their best in helping these hapless children while also complementing the State government’s efforts at providing opportunities for young people to make the best out of their lives.
Speaking on the role of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on child right protection, Inspector Okafor Kenneth Ewemethafor, a facilitator from Ikeja Police Training School, pointed out that all police divisions have established Juvenile Welfare Centre (JWC) to handle cases involving different types of child abuses ranging from Emotional, Physical, Sexual and Domestic violence amongst others in the State.
He stressed that Juvenile Welfare Centres are provided with the necessary equipment and officers well-trained on the best steps in case of incidents of child abuse, noting that the Child’s Right Law and Domestic Violence Law already operational in the State would help to penalize perpetrators and protect the right of victims.
Inspector Ewemethafor, however, implored Lagosians to report all abuse cases to the nearest police station.
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