From Maiharaji Altine Gusau
The UNICEF has commended the Jigawa state government for the recent signing of the State’s Child Protection Bill Into law and urged other states who are yet to do so to follow suit..
In a statement, the UNICEF described the recent signing of the bill by Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa state as a great accomplishment for children’s rights in Nigeria, stressing that, only eight states were yet to sign the bill into law.
The states that are yet to sign the bill into law according to UNICEF are, Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Kebbi, Yobe, Kano and Zamfara.
The statement reads, “The eight states of Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Kano and Zamfara are yet to domesticate the Act in their respective states”.
The statement however explained that, a child rights act was recently passed by the Borno, Kebbi and Yobe State Houses of Assembly.
According to the statement, a total number of 29 states, including Jigawa, have now domesticated the Act into law.
“This is a great achievement for children in Jigawa and we congratulate Governor Badaru for signing into law the Child Protection Bill,” said Rushnan Murtaza, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Nigeria.
“The bill has been passed at a critical time when there is a rise in sexual abuse of children, child labour and child trafficking – all of which make children unsafe and subject them to trauma that can have lifelong impact,” said the Attorney General of Jigawa State, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu.
UNICEF said children in Jigawa State continue to face numerous challenges including lack of access to formal education, adequate primary healthcare, good nutrition and protection from violence – especially girls and the situation becomes worse for children in street situation.
“I also want to encourage the different arms of government in Jigawa and other states with child rights legislation to demonstrate their commitment to full implementation by taking ownership of the issue and ensuring children are safe and protected across the state.”
“The domestication of the Child Protection Bill in Jigawa State will help safeguard the rights of children, including ensuring parents, caregivers and authorities across the spectrum fulfil their obligation to protect children”.
“It will also prioritize access to health and education – especially for the girl-child – amongst several other demands that will enable children grow and thrive on an equal footing,” said Rushnan Murtaza.