THE Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), an arm of the Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan, has restated its commitment towards rescuing children who are being trafficked and abused in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, saying children deserve to enjoy their childhood, and not be made to do the work of adults.
This was made known by the Coordinator of the Women and Child Rights Programme of JDPC, Mrs Omotayo Mala-Adebayo, during a workshop to sensitise teachers and counsellors in Ibadan on the need to identify children who are being abused in their schools and environment.
According to Mrs Mala-Adebayo, trafficking is the moving, transfer, receipt and harbouring of children for the purpose of exploitation, “and the intention of the trafficker is not known to the victim, but with this seminar, we hope teachers and counsellors can be extra vigilant in identifying children who are being abused in their schools.
“Some forms of abuse include female genital mutilation, street hawking, begging, using children as domestic help, among others, and we see these things everyday, but most of us do not put our minds to it that these children are victims,” Mrs Mala-Adebayo said.
The resource person, Mr Adebayo Ayodele, told participants how to identify children in need of help in their schools, and how to go about helping such children.
“The truth is that if we think we are not concerned by what is happening to these children, then one day, the children will become a nuisance to the society, and they will deny us our peace, so this is why we must commend JDPC for the good job it is doing in curbing the abuse of children in the society,” Ayodele said.
One of the participants at the event, Mrs Olutoyin Solademi, thanked JDPC for the opportunity, particularly for its efforts towards rescuing abused children, saying such efforts would definitely translate into a better society for the people of the state.
“I, therefore, want the state government to partner with JDPC in its bid to help these street children; one good thing in this case is that JDPC has the template of how to go about doing this, but it does not have the reach of government, so it will be a good thing if the relevant agency of government can partner with this organisation in this regard,” Solademi, a counsellor, said.