Rivers First Lady Seeks Crackdown on Child Labour, Trafficking

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

Rivers State First Lady, Mes Valerie Fubara, has expressed dismay on how child labour and trafficking are hampering healthy growth and well-being of children, saying it should be tackled head-on.

Speaking at a party organised for children in the state at the Government House, Port Harcourt, to mark this year’s children’s day with the theme: ‘For Every Child, Every Right’, Fubara expressed the urgent need to tackle the menace, which she said is affecting so many children, especially the less privileged.

She pointed out the need for more efforts to be made to continue tackling issues relating to the children’s growth and well-being, especially in the area of child labour and trafficking.

The state governor’s wife, however, called on relevant government agencies to intensify measures towards achieving total crackdown on practices that promote child labour and trafficking.

According to her, “I call on relevant government agencies to step up the campaign against such evil practices and ensure the safety of our children as they remain the hope of our country and the potential leaders of tomorrow.

“I urge parents not to be unduly pressured, either by the temporary economic challenges or by societal influences, to engage in such inhuman practice of child labour or trafficking. It is not only an evil against humanity, but also a sin against God.”

Fubara said it is a privilege for her to host the children in the state, who are the future hope of society, on such auspicious occasion, and to share in their joy on a day designated for them globally.

The wife of the governor stressed that the most enduring legacy is investment in children to harness their full potential for self-development and positive impact on the larger society.

She also explained that investing in children goes beyond mere provision of basic needs of ensuring assess to education and healthcare which are essential components, but involves creating an enabling environment that fosters their holistic development, intellectually, socially, emotionally and ethically.

Fubara added: “Investment in our children is about instituting in them the values of compassion, empathy and responsibility for diversity, laying the foundation of a society built on inclusivity and understanding, instilling in them the skills of knowledge and understanding to navigate an ever changing world.”

She emphasised that in evaluating the priority of the day, it was pertinent to focus on what the Rivers State Government has started doing for them under the watch of her husband, Governor Siminalayi Fubara, particularly in prioritising their education.

Mrs. Fubara stated the need for sustained but deliberate efforts in planning for the future with greater investment made that will manifest in the well-being of children.

She recalled the recent gesture of First Lady Oluremi Tinubu, who, with the ‘Renewed Hope Initiative’, allowed her office to coordinate the donation of 50,000 exercise books to public schools in Rivers State.

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