The Federal Government has inaugurated the committee on justice for children coordination forum to reduce out of school children/children on the move and other vulnerable ones in Abuja.
The Committee was inaugurated by the Honourable Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice (HAGF) Abubakar Malami SAN on Thursday, in Abuja.
What they are saying
The Special Assistant to the President in the Office of the HAGF on Research and Special Duty, Professor Mohammed Lawal Ahmadu, stated that every day, millions of children in Africa and around the world have their rights violated, adding that they are denied access to school, healthcare and social benefit.
“Not only these, they are equally unduly separated from their families, and they are affected by exploitation, abuse and violence in their homes and communities,” Ahmadu said.
Malami added that everywhere, groups of children are being left behind as victims of prejudice and discrimination. Among the most vulnerable are children born into poverty, children in detention, children on the street and children with disabilities.
“Today, a large number of children in Nigeria are survivors of violence, including sexual violence but very few of these cases make it to the courtrooms. These are issues to be addressed at this programme,“ Malami explained.
He disclosed that the objective of the project is to improve children’s access to child-friendly justice through age and gender-sensitive, juvenile justice mechanisms and alternatives to detention for children on the move and vulnerable children in Nigeria.
He also disclosed to the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Mr Tony Ojukwu that his office is currently engaging respective Heads of Court to establish specialised courts for the speedy and seamless trial of rape/gender-based violence offences in the country.
A UN report highlighted about 10.5 million of Nigeria’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Only 61 percent of 6-11 year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education.