The Edo state government has announced plans to set up a committee to monitor and audit orphanages in the state and has threatened to shut down and prosecute those that operate as businesses against their designation as as charities.
Social Development and Gender Commissioner Maria Edeko, who said this on Monday, said the committee will formulate holistic policies on orphanage management and adoption, in accordance with the Children’s Rights Act of State.
She said: “Orphanages are charitable homes created to accommodate children without parents, those without parental care and other vulnerable people, whose parents may be alive but are not able to support themselves. ‘take care of them, but today our people have a misconception about these houses. and see them as business ventures.
“They build orphanages with the intention of making a profit, rather than charity. Some even add a maternity hospital next to the houses, where they give birth and turn the places into baby factories; they bring underage children to these homes to make babies and sell them, or traffic these children, outside of Nigeria, despite the restriction on intercountry adoption.
“Orphans are vulnerable people; they are subject to all forms of exploitation; they are vulnerable to trafficking, abuse and sale. You will understand that the issue of human trafficking has been a very significant challenge globally and at the state level, Governor Godwin Obaseki has made serious efforts to eradicate human trafficking in the state. Edo.
“As the ministry responsible for investigating any adoption process, in accordance with the Making Edo Great Again program, we are committed to cleaning up the system and will establish a committee to audit the orphanages in Edo State and develop holistic policies on adoption and management of orphanages in accordance with the law on the rights of the child. This is the priority of our agenda for the new year.
She added: “Governor Obaseki’s government talks about institutional reforms and sector reforms. This means then that we must reform each department that falls under the competence of this ministry. So, we continued to train and retrain the owners and the bosses of these orphanages, and looking at these children today, I can see that they are very beautiful; they do things that normal children will do.
“We’re going to do an audit and remove everyone who has entered this business. It is a charity and if you do not have the heart to give charity, you cannot be in the issue of running orphanages. If you are here for the wrong reason, you better take the day off. It’s not going to work and we’re going to put a lot of them behind bars and shut down the orphanages that are on business.
“Only those that are intended for genuine charity will be allowed to operate, as there are standards for the management of orphanages in Edo State. ”
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