Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, a non-governmental organisation, on Thursday, called for the adoption and enforcement of the Child Rights Act 2003 across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT)
Segun Falana, a representative of the group, made the demand during the Senate zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution in Lagos.
Oluremi Tinubu, senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District and wife of the state’s former governor, Bola Tinubu, chairs the Constitution review committee for the public hearing in Nigeria’s South-west region.
Speaking at the event, Mr Falana lamented that 11 states across the country were yet to adopt the Child Rights Law, adding that those that did are also yet to effect its implementation.
He said: “The Child Right Act enacted by the National Assembly in 2003 should be made applicable throughout Nigeria. We have to work it out. As of today, only 25 states have adopted that law, though they are not implementing it.
“Some of the states that have refused to adopt the law include Zamfara, Borno, Kastina and all these states are where banditry has been institutionalised.”
He said this has contributed to the rising insecurity in the concerned states.
“They don’t send their children to school, we have 14 million children of the poor, who are roaming the streets today, and this is where bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists recruit their members on a daily basis,” he added.
He urged the government at all levels to enforce the Nigerian child’s rights as captured in the law, and Chapter 2 of the nation’s Constitution.
He listed the rights to include: right to education, health, among others.
He said if Chapter 2 of Nigeria’s constitution is “not made justiciable, there can be no political stability in our country.”
He, however, accused those he described as members of Nigeria’s ruling class of conspiring to make the law non-enforceable.
The ongoing public hearing on Constitution review, which kicked off across the country on Wednesday, is aimed at seeking the public input in the review exercise.
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