Gyang Bere, Jos
UNICEF has called for the domestication of 2003 Nigeria Child Rights Act (CRA) in Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe states in order to provide a legal framework for child justice system.
UNICEF Nigeria Bauchi Field Officer Bhanu Pathak stated this during the 2020 Day of the African Child with a theme: “Access to a Child-friendly Justice in Africa”.
A statement signed by Communication Officer Samuel Kaalu emphasised the imperatives of access to a child-friendly justice system, adding that it cannot be achieved if the basic legal framework is not properly put in place.
‘In 2003, Nigeria passed the Child Rights Act (CRA). The law has so far been domesticated by 25 states in Nigeria, but 11 states are yet to domesticate the law. Three of these states, namely, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe, fall under the UNICEF Bauchi Field Office.
‘As we celebrate the DAC 2020, I hereby call on the states of Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe to domesticate the Child Rights Act 2003,’ the statement reads.
Pathak applauded Plateau and Taraba states for domesticating the Child Rights Act and urged them to provide critical structures for the functioning of the law.
‘We urge you to provide critical structures for the functioning of the law in their states, including the establishment of family courts, provision of adequate funding for the functioning of the law, and ensuring reliable information management system for managing and tracking services to child victims’ access to a child-friendly justice system,’ he said.
Pathak called on the media, civil society and active citizens to maintain surveillance and sustain advocacy to promote access to child-friendly justice system for all children who are victims of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
‘The Day of the African Child is commemorated 16 June every year by the African Union and its partners in commemoration of the 1976 protests by school children in Soweto, South Africa.
‘The students protested an education designed to further the purposes of the apartheid regime. The brutal response of the apartheid security agencies to the unarmed students’ protests resulted in the death of scores of them. In 1991, the African Union Assembly passed a resolution designating 16 June as a Day for the celebration of the African child.’