Children Parliament Advocates For Specialized Children’s Court
By: Femi Mustapha
The Children Parliament in Nigeria has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the establishment of at least one specialized children’s court and dedicated law enforcement units within the Nigerian Police, Security, and Defence forces in the County.
This was contained in an Open Advocacy letter to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Parliament and made available to the media in Kaduna on 16th June 2022.
The Letter signed by Madina Abdulkadri, Member, State Children Parliament, Borno; Girl Champion, SCI, Ibrahim Zanna Sunoma, Rt. Hon. Speaker, State Children Parliament, Borno, Aisha Idris Nakano, Former House Leader, State Children Parliament, Child Rights Activist, Katsina, and ten others are in the collaboration of Day of the African Child, 2022!
The Letter stated that the court should be in the six geopolitical zones of the country to fast-track the full implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) (2015) and the Child Rights Act (2003).
The Children Parliament also requested the government to design a child-led, comprehensive, multi-sectoral, national development agenda and plan for children.
“The government, at all levels, should prioritize the implementation and domestication of the Child Rights Act 2003. This will provide children in Nigeria with the necessary legal policy framework for seeking justice when our rights are denied or abused.
“We, the children, represent the future, and we deserve an opportunity to realize and release our full potential.
“Your Excellency, the Children of Nigeria, will continue to look up to you and your administration for our growth and the development of our dear country at large.”
The Children’s Parliament expressed appreciation for the determination of President Buhari’s led administration over the last seven years towards the development of our great country.
They recognize, in particular, the policy provisions under the leadership, including but not limited to the Safe School Declaration (SSD) and the National Health Insurance Authority Act (NHIA) that will contribute to the improvement of the lives of many children and their future.
“As we celebrate The Day of the African Child this year, we would like to very sincerely engage with Your Excellency our dear President on how we can jointly set a national development agenda specially tailored for children that ensures our rights are protected, respected, and fulfilled at all levels.
“On behalf of Nigerian children, we would like to appreciate your determination over the last seven years towards the development of our great country.
“Your Excellency, in celebrating the 2022 Day of the African Child, children all over the continent are calling on their governments to protect children from harmful traditional practices and end all forms of violence against girls and boys.
“The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) indicates that harmful practices include all behavior, attitudes, and/or practices that negatively affect the fundamental rights of women and girls, such as their right to life, health, dignity, education, and physical integrity.
“In our country, we are exposed to and affected by the high prevalence of harmful practices, including child marriage, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation, among others.
“These practices, behaviors and discriminations are constructed based on gender, age, and other structural barriers that often result in childhood emotional and physical injuries of a lifetime.”