The Nigerian Government has set up a National Joint Task Force for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Violence Against Children in Nigeria in a bid to address the growing cases of violence against children, especially child sexual abuse, rape and abduction of innocent children.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Zainab Maina, who inaugurated the committee in Abuja said that it was due to recent terror attacks and abduction of about two hundred girls from a Government Secondary School in Maiduguri in the North East Zone of the country. She further noted that whenever there are insurgencies or natural disasters such as flood, children become very easy targets as they are killed, maimed or abducted.
She added that when there are economic problems in the family, children are made to hawk in the streets where they are exposed to all kinds of hazards, including child sexual abuse. “The continuous and recent terror attacks and abduction of children from schools in the North-East of the country is a clear demonstration of the extent of violence meted to the Nigerian child. This callous act highlights the need for government to employ a multi-sectoral approach to tackling the scourge that is eating deep into the fabrics of the country,” she emphasized.
Zainab Maina disclosed that membership of the task-force were drawn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as relevant stakeholders which include: the Nigeria Law Reform Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, NAPTIP, Legal Aid Council, Public Complaint Commission, the Ministry of Information, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Education and Health; the Nigerian Police, NOA, Christian and Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria having been identified as key actors in child survival, development and protection issues.
While speaking in a goodwill message, the Executive Secretary of NAPTIP, Beatrice Jedy Agba said that the agency condemns in strong terms the inhuman act of suicide bombers and abduction of girls; stressing that soon, they will become history in the country. She reiterated her agency’s commitment to partnering with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs towards ensuring the protection of children, especially the girl-child who, she noted as most prone to vulnerability. She indicated that the welfare of the girl-child will be guaranteed through putting a stop to the ugly scourge of violation against children in the country.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Habiba Lawal opined that the need to establish a National Joint Taskforce in the country was determined by the fact that the Nigeria society is grappling with rising incidences of rape, child defilement and baby farming, which do not portray the country in good light. She explained that the establishment of the task force will provide a unified platform for government agencies and the civil society to jointly respond to child sexual abuse and violence against children in a coordinated manner as well as help to drastically reduce the menace in the country.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate