By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
The consortium of over 60 non-governmental organizations, professional bodies and agencies under the aegis of Child Protection Network (CPN), Oyo State chapter has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Seyi Makinde, and local government chairmen to provide adequate protection for children against any form of insecurity.
The Oyo State CPN stated this during an advocacy visit to the state government in commemoration of the 2021 Day of The African Child.
The group carried placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Rape is evil, violation of human rights should stop’, ‘Justice must be served’, ‘ Children of Africa deserve healthy childhood’s, ‘Stop child labour’, and others.
State Coordinator of CPN, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ogedengbe also called on the Oyo State government to enforce laws that prohibit child abuse and violation of rights of children.
Mrs. Ogedengbe said: “We know there are laws in place already – the Child Rights Law of 2006 and Violation Against Persons Prohibition Law 2020 which Governor Makinde assented to in March.
“But we asking for the full implementation of the laws. Offenders should be punished appropriately.
“There should be Sex Offenders Register to serve as a deterrent to the would-be offenders. All hands must be on desk if our children are going to be fully protected.
“We are also asking governments on the issue of security to protect students. A lot of schools do not have security personnel.
“We are asking governments to look into that. We need to make Africa fit for the African Child regarding security.
“A full implementation and enforcement of the articles of the Child Rights Act to further complement the work of the Family Court.
“There is a need for a coherent Social Protection System which will address the root causes of violence and abuse on children.
“Prosecution of offenders and a public naming and shaming by putting in place the Offenders Register”.
Also, the Public Relations Officer of CPN, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Daniel, said the environment must be made safe and secure for children.
“Sex offenders should be shamed and punished. Everyone should be involved in dealing with rape and violence against children,” Mrs. Daniel added.
The group later visited the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, who said the government had been taken some steps to protect children.
Olaleye, therefore, expressed his readiness to be part of the Child Right Club of CPN.