Towards stemming violence against children

Austin Ajayi in yola,

Writes on the just concluded training of social welfare workers on Child Protection Case Management organized by the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), and Adamawa state Government.

A recent survey carried out on abuse on children by UNICEF shows that millions of children around the world are subjected to various forms of violence on a daily basis, despite the provisions of the 1998 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1990 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child which seek to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation.

Many communities in Nigeria still engage in acts that violate the right of the child and without being punished.

This violence occurs across different contexts and in many settings, including the home, family, in schools and the community.

Worried by this development and the rising cases of violence against children,and the desire to protect such children, the EU, with support from the UN, and the Adamawa state government, organised a 5-day training of Trainers on Child Protection and Case Management for social welfare officers, Development officers and auxiliary-social workers.

The training which was held at Duragi Hotel in Adamawa state aim at providing social welfare workers attached to the community with necessary knowledge and skills to carry out their roles in relation to child protection and case management as stipulated in the Nigerian Child Rights Act 2003.

It also seeks to develop participant’s core skills in the area of social work,increase knowledge of training methods and skill.

Ladi Alabi, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, said the training was specially prepared for social welfare workers to appropriately handle cases of child violence in their respective communities, provide better services to protect such children and also report such cases for better intervention.

According to her, the training is geared toward helping social welfare workers respond positively to cases of child violence and abuse, giving them appropriate knowledge to improve their skills to properly handle such cases.

But with the child right act yet tobe domesticated in most state of federation including Adamawa State, how will offenders be punished for their crime against the child?

Ladi Alabi maintained that the overall goal of the training is to equip social welfare workers to provide quality service delivery to potential case management, and also be able to report such cases with the aim of getting justice for the child.

“When we talk about child protection, we are talking about social welfare,service delivery and child justice administration, on each of these components,reporting and building of data is important at these levels, our focus is on service delivery in case management.

“ There is a nationwide child protection information management system with a dashboard that receives reports of services rendered to children, every state is expected to fit in with appropriate data to help in programming, which inturn will help in analyzing the trends, incidents and cases for future interventions in programming”, Alabi stated.

With the training which is a spotlight initiative project that been implemented in Adamawa State, it is believed that the cases of child abuse i shoped to addressed.

The training which was funded by the EU and implemented by the UN Agencies, in conjunction with the Adamawa state government is focusing on Mubi and Yola where there have been increasing cases of child abuse.

The training will consolidate on the awareness campaigns that has helped parents, caregivers and community to respond and report such cases.

Participants who spoke to our correspondent said the training was timely, given the increase in cases of violence and abuse of children.

Hauwa Musa Sa’ad, a participant from Mubi area said the training has fully prepared her for child protection and case management.

“In Mubi we are faced with myriad of problems of child violence and abuse,sometime we don’t even know how to respond, but with this training am going back fully charged and prepared to make a difference in my community”

It is hoped that the act which has passed the second reading at the State House of Assembly, will get through the third reading, and thereafter passed into law for the governor’s accent.

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