An NGO, Save the Children Community Engagement and Advocacy, has called on the Gombe state government to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act, to tackle increasing cases of rape in the state.
Mr Akpan Effiong, the Co-ordinator of the NGO, made the call on Tuesday in an interview with NAN in Gombe.
According to Effiong, increasing cases of rape has made it necessary for the state government to look into the speedy domestication of the act.
He also said that most people were taking advantage of the non-domestication of the act in the state to perpetuate their heinous act.
“The state government should, as a matter of urgency, domesticate the child rights act to tackle the increasing menace of rape and other child abuses.
“Culprits are aware of the non-domestication status of the act.
“Most of them perpetuate their heinous act because they know there is no concrete law to pin them down and when they are arrested, before you know it, they are back to business.
“We have a new administration in Gombe state. The child rights act bill should be speedily worked on to protect the Nigerian child from rape, hawking, out-of-school and other harsh menace.
“Today, we have over 450, 000 out-of-school children in Gombe state and this is worrisome.
“The right of our children to good education and other rights of life must not be denied them,’’ he said.
Corroborating Effiong, Mrs Suuda Mustapha, the Chairperson, Better Life for Girls Group in Gombe, stressed that the psychological effects of rape on girl-child often takes time to be worked on.
Mustapha said that children in the state deserved better life and adequate protection against any kind of torture or assault, adding that when such is done, the potential of children would be enhanced.
“The only way to realising the dreams of children in the state is the domesticating of the act in Gombe.“
According to her, when that is settled, rape will drop because the law will protect the children better.
The United Nations General Assembly had on Nov. 20, 1989 adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Shortly afterward, in July 1990, the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted the African Union Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (CRWC).
Nigeria signed both international instruments and ratified them in 1991 and 2000, respectively. The principles enshrined were adopted in Nigeria as the Child’s Rights Act (CRA) in 2003.