Bauchi field office of UNICEF has urged the states of Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe which it is supporting to as a matter of necessity domesticate the 2003 Nigeria Child Rights Act (CRA) in order to provide a legal framework for child justice system in the states.
The call was made on Tuesday in Bauchi by the Chief of Office, Bhanu Pathak while speaking on this year’s Day of the African Child with the theme, “Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa,” noting that access to a child-friendly justice system is very important but cannot be achieved if the basic legal framework is not put in place.
He added that “In 2003, Nigeria passed the Child Rights Act (CRA). The law has so far been domesticated by 25 states in Nigeria, but 11 states are yet to domesticate the law. Three of these states, namely, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe, fall under the UNICEF Bauchi field office”.
“As we celebrate the DAC 2020, I hereby call on the states of Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe to domesticate the Child Rights Act 2003, ” said Pathak.
For Plateau and Taraba States which have domesticated the CRA, Bhanu Pathak urged them to “provide critical structures for the functioning of the law in their states, including the establishment of family courts; provision of adequate funding for the functioning of the law; and ensuring reliable information management system for managing and tracking services to child victims’ access to the child-friendly justice system”.
Bhanu Pathak also called on the Media, CSOs and active citizens to maintain surveillance and sustain advocacy to promote access to child-friendly justice system for all children who are victims of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The Day of the African Child is commemorated 16th June every year by the African Union and its partners in commemoration of the 1976 protests by school children in Soweto, South Africa.
The students protested an education designed to further the purposes of the apartheid regime. The brutal response of the apartheid security agencies to the unarmed students’ protests resulted in the death of scores of them. In 1991, the African Union Assembly passed a resolution designating 16 June as a Day for the celebration of the African child.