By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria, has commended the Katsina State House of Assembly for passing the Child Protection Bill.
SCI in a statement issued recently by Ms. Mercy Gichuhi, Country Director, said
the bill was passed on 25th November 2020, almost 17 years after the Child Rights Act (2003) was first presented to the House to be domesticated.
SCI urged the remaining State Governments of the Federation to take similar bold steps in domesticating the CRA 2003, a comprehensive legal instrument for the protection of the rights of a child.
The Country Director, added that, “we celebrate the decision made by the Katsina State House of Assembly for passing the Child Protection Bill that ensures the rights of Katsina State children are protected, respected and fulfilled. Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria appreciates all members of the Katsina State House of Assembly and calls on all remaining State House of Assemblies to follow suit. I would like to urge the executive arm, agencies, ministries and bureaus in Katsina State to demonstrate their commitment towards the full implementation and ownership of the Bill.
“The Bill has come to pass at a very critical time when there is an increase in number of sexual abuse, molestation and violence, including rape, early child and forced marriage, child labour and trafficking, which make children feel unsafe, unprotected and experience different forms of trauma. However, I am confident that the implementation of the Child Protection Bill will be instrumental in ending such violations of the rights of every child in Katsina state.”
She said, SCI Nigeria has been leading an advocacy and campaign towards the domestication of CRA 2003 in Katsina State for several years together with its partner organizations, CSOs, child champions, community, religious and traditional leaders, and in the last couple of years in particular through a Project called “Better Life for Girls.”
“We worked closely with the Children’s Parliament in the State, and SCI is glad to see the role that children played in the process leading up to the passing of this bill. It further demonstrates how far children can go if they are given opportunities to express themselves and speak up for the issues that concern them.”