Lagos, police collaborate to protect children from abuse

A call has gone out to officials of the Nigeria Police Force, especially officers in the various gender units of the police divisions and other relevant stakeholders in the protection of children’s rights to internalise the provisions of the Lagos State Child Rights Law.

Making the call yesterday at a one-day workshop and training programme for police officers and relevant stakeholders on children matters, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youths and Social Development, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said the state government will continue to equip police personnel, stakeholders and NGOs involved in children protection with necessary tools and information needed for them to practice optimally.

According to him, the training was meant to strengthen the executive order of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration on its newly signed guidelines and policies called “Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy”.

He added that the policy was aimed at intensifying the protection of individuality and uniqueness of every child and it gives clear and concise directions to all child-centred organizations, correctional homes among others on various roles to play when contact exists with children.

Speaking on the role of the Nigeria Police Force on child’s right protection, Inspector Okafor Kenneth Ewemethafor, a facilitator from Ikeja Police Training College, pointed out that all police divisions have established Juvenile Welfare Centre (JWC) mainly assigned to handle cases involving different types of child abuses ranging from emotional, physical, sexual, neglect, and domestic violence amongst others in the state.

He added that the Juvenile Welfare Centre are provided with the necessary equipment and well-trained officers on the best steps in case of incidences of child abuse, adding that the Child’s Right Law and Domestic Violence Law, which is already operational in the state would help to penalize perpetrators and protect the right of victims.

Ewemethafor implored Lagosians to report all abuse cases to the nearest police station as there are provided instruments for specialized personnel under JWC unit in safeguarding the interest of victims.

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