Lagos SUBEB supports fight against child sexual abuse, others

The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) has intensified campaign against child/young adult sexual abuse and harassment that is rampant in the country nowadays.

To this end, the agency recently enlightened a gathering after holding a group walk around Maryland in Ikeja to sensitise the public against sexual assault and child molestation in and outside Lagos State and their implications on victims and the society.

The event was part of the activities by the Lagos SUBEB to commemorate this year’s International Day of the African Child, observed globally last week.

Speaking at the programme, the chairman of the board, Mr Wahab Alawiye-King, stressed the importance of child rights protection and called on well-meaning Nigerians, especially in the education sector, to join hands to stamp out child sexual assault and harassment from Nigeria.

He spoke on the theme of the global event, ‘Access to a child-friendly justice system in Africa’, saying the frequency of reported cases of sexual abuse and molestation in the country is not only worrisome and inimical to development but grossly inhuman.

He said the culture of silence and impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of the criminal acts worsen the situation, hence LASUBEB’s joining others to advocate for a justice system that is accessible, age-appropriate, speedy and focused on the needs and rights of the Nigerian child.

While reiterating the state government’s stance on the protection of rights of children as specified under the Child’s Rights Law of 2007, he said efforts to ensure effective implementation of the law must be intensified.

Alawiye-King, in a statement by the head of public affairs unit of the board, Mrs Enitan Adewunmi, said children as the future of the nation, deserve to have their voices heard and their rights protected and preserved to grow into responsible adults.

He noted that a child whose rights have been constantly violated would most likely grow up to become an adult who does not respect the rights of others.

He reiterated the commitment of Lagos SUBEB to providing quality and child-friendly educational system for the pupils of the state.

Speaking earlier, the board’s secretary, Mrs. Folusho Ajimoti, said up to 717 cases of alleged sexual assaults were reported in the last five months nationwide, adding that such is unacceptable.

In her own contribution at the event, the guest speaker, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Dr. Bola Makinde, expressed great concern on the rise in female children and young adults falling victims of sexual exploitation even by close relatives.

She, therefore, called on parents to teach their children the appropriate names of their sensitive body parts and to teach them also not to trust anyone with their body.

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