Fred Itua, Abuja
The Federal Government has revealed that out of 36 States in the Federation and Abuja, FCT, about 11 are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act which was passed into law 17-years-ago.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, made this known during a public hearing in Abuja organised by the Senate Committee on Women Affairs on two bills: “Older Persons’ Rights and Privileges Bill 2020 and The Child Rights Act, 2003, Amendment Bill 2020″.
The 11 States are predominantly from the North. According to the Minister, Adamawa, Gombe and Bauchi are among the three States yet to domesticate it.
According to Tallen, since her assumption of office, she has been working round the clock, reaching out to governors and members of the Houses of Assembly in the various States to ensure that the Act is domesticated in the States.
‘But the good news is that we are making some progress. Out of the 36 States we now have 25 States that have domesticated the Act. I’m still not too happy that we still have 11 States that are yet to domesticate the Act.
‘However, I’m reaching out. I just returned from an advocacy tour of some of the States and I’m still moving on until I cover the 11 States.
‘I have just returned from Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe. The three States I have visited since after the COVID-19 and they have reassured me because I addressed the Houses of Assembly of the three States and had public hearing with stakeholders.’
Senate Committee chairman on Women Affairs, Betty Apiafi, said bills, when passed, will enhance the quality of life and other related matters.
She said senior citizens deserve better lives and good care. She said there will be provision for social security and integrated health services for senior citizens.
She said the Child Rights Act, 2003 (Amendment) Bill, 2020, ‘seeks to amend the Act to provide for a person convicted of attempted rape to be unsuitable to work with children.
‘During the lockdown, cases of rape surged to such an unprecedented level. This menace must stop. It is inhumane, unethical and a dent to womanhood. Perpetrators of this dastardly act must face the consequences of their action.’