By Justina Auta
The FCT Children Parliament has urged the government and other stakeholders to compel traditional rulers to sign legal documents preventing early child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in their communities and domains.
Miss Splendor Joe-King, representing the FCT in the National Children’s parliament, made the call in Abuja, at an event to mark the 2022 Day of the African Child.
While presenting the resolution reached by the Children’s parliament, Miss Joe-king said children who were already in matrimony should be rescued, rehabilitated and sent to school.
“That children who are already in marriage should be rescued and returned. And in case any of them get pregnant, they should still be allowed to continue their education.
” Awareness campaigns should be intensified in rural communities against FGM practice, to educate the people on the dangers of female genital mutilation,” she said
Also, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, stressed the need to take stock of existing programmes and policies that relate to protecting the rights of women and children.
Tallen, represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr Idris Mohammed, said such policies would effectively address FGM, early marriage, out of school children, and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), amongst others.
“The commemoration of this year Day of the African child, provides an opportunity for us as government and as a country to take stock of our innovations, and programmes put in place with regards to adoption of policies and practices.
“And, reflect on what more needs to be done, to effectively eliminate harmful practices affecting children in Africa,” he said.
Also, the Deputy Director, Child Development, in the ministry, Mr Ali Madugu, explained that this year’s celebration was centred on the holistic participation of children in showcasing the importance of ending harmful practices against children.
“This year, it is children centred, they are the ones that are coordinating their activities, they are the ones organising themselves because they want to take stock of what has been done, regarding harmful practices in their lives as children, right from 2013 to date,” he said.
Also, Dr. Clement Bouthillier, representing the European Union (EU), reiterated their commitment towards supporting advocacy and awareness in ending harmful practices against women and children.
Bouthillier, also added that the union prioritised education of the girl child as one of their development projects.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the theme of the event is: “Eliminating harmful practices affecting children: progress on policy and practice since 2013.”
Other highlights of the event include presentations and performance by school children on the negative effects of early child marriage and FGM in the lives of children. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Olabisi Akinbode/Isaac Aregbesola