The Chief of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Ishaq Bello has advocated for the infusion of human rights education into every school curriculum, in order to strengthen children against exploitation.
Justice Bello said that children can be guided by human rights education to make informed choices in life, to approach situations with critical and independent thought, and to empathise with other points of view.
He made this assertion yesterday, in his keynote speech, delivered by FCT Chief Magistrate, Mabel T. Segun-Bello, at the 3rd Annual Secondary Schools’ Human Rights Summit (SSHRS), in Abuja.
He noted that having the right kind of education is a must for proper development of children and the society at large.
According to him, even in kindergarten, children should learn and experience the fundamental human rights values of respect, equality and justice.
“Today, at schools everywhere children should be thought that no human being can properly be defined by a single point of reference: not nationality, not ideology or religion.
“Every child should be able to grasp that this recognition of blurred crosscutting identities- of the wonderful diversity of individuals and cultures within our shared membership of humanity, which is a source of tremendous enrichment.
“As we gather here today, to listen, to listen, to empathise and resolve to act, may the students who benefit from this event, use the values that they have learned to create greater peace in Nigeria and the world,” the Judge stressed.
Also, speaking, Mr. Deji Ajari, Coordinator Sterling Centre For Law and Development, the organisers of the Summit themed: ‘Towards Effective Implementation of the Child Rights Act in Nigeria’, re-echoed the position of the judge.
He explained that the initiative aimed consistently sensitising young people on understanding and promoting child rights in Nigeria.
Similarly, Representative of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), decried that only 24 out of 36 states have domesticated the Child Rights Act, with a few implementing the law passed
She therefore challenged children and parents to become advocates of the Child Rights Act, in order to achieve its objective.
Earlier in his welcome address, Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Professor, Oshita Oshita, said a culture of peace and nonviolence delineates the integration of values, belief systems and forms of spirituality, local knowledge and technologies, traditions and forms of cultural and artistic expression that contributes to the respect of human rights.
The DG, who was represented by Zainab Anyadike of IPCR, commended the Sterling Centre For Law and Development for the initiative to sensitise and educate young people on the importance of peace building through the portal of human rights advocacy.