In fulfilling its goal of empowering women and girls, a non-government organisation (NGO), Live Abundantly, has held its ‘Children’s Awareness Initiative’ to strengthen its impact in the society.
According to the organisation, the initiative seeks to enhance social education of school students on the prevalence and consequences of social ills, that are detrimental to individual rights, families and society.
The latest edition of the programme hosted primary and secondary school students across Lagos education district 11, in Ikorodu area.
The event, which coincided with the 2019 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, took time to address discrimination and violence against women and children as well as attendants effects on socio- economic development.
The event also featured a panel discussion that was anchored on the theme : Equality, Peace and Migration. The panelists comprised representatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person, NAPTIP; International Organisation for Migration (IOM); Nigerian Police Force and Live Abundantly.
They all agreed on the need to strengthen legislation and social system to protect children especially girls from all manners of abuse and discrimination.
Speaking during the panel session, IOM official, Ruth Mbugua, pointed out that human trafficking was one of the issues confronting girls and women in this clime, adding that there were internal and external trafficking.
She urged Nigerians to travel through safe and legal route and avoid falling into the trap of human traffickers.
The Head, Public Enlightenment Unit of NAPTIP, Mrs. Nosa Odey, also cautioned against giving out or accepting children under the age of 18 as domestic workers as it was a punishable offence under the law.
Founder and Executive Director of Live Abundantly, Dr. Ama Onyerinma, expressed worry that of the 36 states in the country, only 24 states had passed the 2013 Child Rights Act.
She urged government to do more to stop early and forced child marriage, even as she called for more women participation in politics to drive the cause.
Earlier in her goodwill message, Tutor General/PS Lagos Education District II, Mrs. Anike Adekanye, said: “Children are vulnerable to all manner of abuses that violate their rights and limit their chances of survival.
“Hence, the need for them to grow up in a protected environment and be safeguarded because they are the future leaders”.
The event was lit up by debate, drama presentation and quiz competition amongst others.