Nigeria: “We are working to domesticate the law on the rights of the child”


Gombe – The Gombe state government has said it is gradually addressing bottlenecks that hamper the domestication of child rights law in the state.

State Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Social Development Ms. Naomi JJ Awak gave the guidance yesterday during the stakeholder meeting on strengthening the implementation of strategies that would end child marriage in the ‘Gombe State.

The meeting was sponsored by Girls Strand Catalyst, USA, in collaboration with Save the Children International (SCI).

Civil society organizations (CSOs) and faith-based organizations were among the stakeholders advocating and pressuring the Gombe State government to domesticate the child rights law following the daily increase in the abuse of children’s rights.

This comes as a result of the domestication of CRA in Katsina state and some northern states where girl marriage has become a threat, thus encroaching on girls’ rights to reach their full potential.

However, Awak told stakeholders at the meeting that there is the political will and support from the Governor of Gombe State, Mr. Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, to ensure the domestication of the law.

She said the state governor introduced the bill to the State Assembly House, but there are “stumbling blocks” that do not allow it to see the light of day.

She expressed optimism, however, that, by the grace of God, in the near future, the Child Rights Act (CRA) would become a reality given the passion that the state governor and his wife followed the bill.

“It’s because in 2019 when I presented the file to the State Executive Council, the governor immediately took an interest in it. The effort is not made by physical force, the government is on our side. If Katsina could domesticate the ARC, why not Gombe? she inquired.

She described child marriage as a threat, saying girls should not be taken out of school for marriage. “It is not possible for a girl to give birth to a child and be brought up by a child,” she lamented.

Earlier, giving an overview of child marriage in Gombe State, Mr. Akpan Effiong, ITUC Interim Project Manager, Towards Ending Child Marriage in Nigeria (TECM), said that the State Strategic Plan de Gombe to End Child Marriage (SPECM) in the state by 2030 is a massive effort to reduce the endemic, multi-faceted socio-cultural practice of child marriage.

He said child marriage as practiced in Gombe State is considered a formal union whereby victims have neither reached full maturity nor consented to marriage.

While arguing that child marriage remained one of the development challenges affecting children in Gombe State, Akpan said its successful elimination would require a multisectoral and coordinated approach and legislation that would be rigorously enforced without fear. nor favor.

He stressed that the role of the Ministry of State for Women’s Affairs and Social Development in achieving the strategy could not be overestimated. All government law enforcement agencies should ensure strict adherence to the proposed law that would ban child marriage and address gender inequalities.

Several CSOs took the floor at length, making suggestions and expressing their dismay at the long delay in domestication of the CRA, which would address the challenges affecting children, in particular the issue of child marriage and the rape of minors in the world. ‘State.


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