The Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD) has declared that respect for the voices and rights of girl child to live meaningful life devoid of abuses, rights violation, and intimidation would lead to socio-economic growth and development of our community and nation in general.
This was stated in Lagos over the weekend by the Director of Lagos State Office of the Public Defender ( OPD), Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, when addressing students and staff of Baptist Girls Academy and Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Secondary School on the occasion of annual celebration of lnternational Day of the Girl Child, 2019 edition.
According to her, the theme of this year celebration ” Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable ” was timely at a period when everything is being done to free Lagos of defilement, rights violation, abuses, oppression of girls, discrimination and other anti – social behaviours that were inimical to the growth and development of girl child in the society.
The Director said further that until the society allows girl child to enjoy societal confidence, security, unfettered access to education, economically equipped and provide with equal opportunities that they will be able to achieve their their full potential in the family and society at large.
Adeyemi vehemently condemned the spate of sexual violence in our society, especially at schools and higher institutions where girls were being sexually intimidated and exploited for marks and grade.
She urged girls, students and women that have experienced sexual harassment, rape, physical abuse and rights violation in the state to approach OPD for free legal services in order to get redress and protection of law.
She further assured such victims of support and that reported cases of rape and other rights violation are always treated with utmost confidentiality, investigated to the logical conclusion and culprits made to face the full wrath of the law irrespective of social status and affinity.
The International Day of the Girl Child was set aside by the United Nations to celebrate potential of girl child, recognise how hard being a girl can be, highlight the threats, discrimination and issues facing their well- being.