The National Human Rights Commission has congratulated Nigerians particularly the girl child on the celebration of the #internationaldayofthegirlchild2019, #IDGC.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu Esq stated this in a press statement in Abuja on Friday, 11th day of October, 2019. He further stated that the day provided a very unique opportunity for government and well meaning stakeholders to refocus attention to all issues inhibiting the development of girl child and by implication women; and commit to providing durable solutions to them.
The Executive Secretary recalled the reasons that gave rise to the setting aside of the day which is to address some manmade discriminatory stereotypes in many societies which gravely inhibit girl child development leading to violation of their rights in many societies around the world. He further called on stakeholders to pay closer attention to the girl child especially in the North East and other parts of Nigeria affected by conflict, adding that conflict situations aggravate vulnerability of the girl child. He listed some other vulnerabilities of the Nigerian girl child to include early marriage, Sexual and Gender based violence, girl child headed households, trafficking, child labor, poor access to educational opportunities, etc.
Ojukwu stated further that the Commission has continued to fine tune its operations with a view to paying closer attention to the needs of the girl child. The Commission championed the domestication of the UN Convention of the Rights Child through the passage of the Child Rights Act in 2003 and continues to play facilitation roles in the passage of Child Rights Law in all the states.
Presently, the Child Rights Law has been passed in 24 out of the 36 states in Nigeria. Plans are under way to facilitate the passage of the child rights law in the remaining states within the next 4 years. In order to realize this objective, the Commission has restructured its operations to establish a dedicated department to Women, Children and other vulnerable Groups in the Commission.
He concluded by charging all stakeholders to remain focused on the main objective of the day when it was first celebrated in 2012, which is to empower girl child and women to actualize their rights and meet their needs. He enjoined every organ of society to join hands in the struggle for the actualization of their rights through legal frameworks, policy, education, advocacy and training.
The Commission further used the opportunity to urge all Nigerians to join hands with it to protect rights of the girl child and women as it inaugurates the investigation panel on allegations of Sexual and Gender based violence on Monday, 14th day of October, 2019 at its headquarters by 11am.