…Holds Sensitization Walk Against Sexual Assault, Child Molestation
The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, LASUBEB, on Tuesday, June 16, celebrated the International Day of the African Child with a renewed call on all relevant stakeholders to be involved in the fight against sexual assault and child molestation.
The event, which was held at the LASUBEB office in Maryland, Ikeja, was preceded by a sensitisation walk around Maryland, Ikeja, to create awareness against sexual assault and child molestation.
The Chairman of LASUBEB, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King, stated that the theme for the celebration, “Access To Child Friendly Justice System In Africa,” was apt, considering the alarming rates of reported cases of sexual abuse and child molestation in the society.
Alawiye-King said, “The exponential rise in cases of abuse against children, the perpetuating culture of silence, and the impunity enjoyed by the doers of these evils informed the decision of the Lagos State government, through LASUBEB, to join other member states today to advocate for a justice system that is accessible, age-appropriate, speedy, diligent and focused on the needs and rights of the Nigerian child.”
Reiterating the Lagos State government’s stance on the protection of the rights of children, the LASUBEB boss promised that more will be done to achieve this.
He added, “In Lagos State, the rights of children are well encapsulated under the Child’s Rights Law 2007; a law designed to enforce the rights and advance the welfare of children.
“However, more needs to be done to ensure the adequate implementation of the law to guarantee a truly child-friendly justice system.”
The Chairman, however, enjoined the society to lend their voices against child molestation, stating that children deserves to have their rights and dignity protected.
“Children are the future of our nation; we must ensure that their voices are not drowned. They deserve to have their rights protected and preserved to grow into responsible adults. A child whose rights have been constantly violated will likely grow up to become an adult who does not respect the rights of others,” he opined.
He reiterated LASUBEB’s commitment to the provision of quality education and child-friendly educational system for the pupils of Lagos State and ensure that public schools run a system and structure that protect the best interest of young pupils, by keeping them safe from all forms of abuse and increase their confidence in speaking out when oppressed.
LASUBEB Secretary, Mrs. Folusho Ajimoti, in her address, said that the program was organised and preceded by a sensitisation walk to create awareness in order to tackle the prevalence of child abuse in the society.
Mrs Ajimoti said, “What we noticed in our society today is that child molestation is on the increase, especially sexual abuse; as the media has been awashed with gory tales, in fact about 717 cases has been reported in the last five months.”
She insisted that this situation is unacceptable and must be nipped in the bud quickly.
The guest speaker at the event, Dr. Mrs Bola Makinde, an Associate Professor of the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, identified abuse as harassment, rape and molestation; stating that children becomes vulnerable when there is lack of sex education.
Dr. Makinde enjoined parents to teach their children the proper names of sensitive parts of their body and to trust no one with their body.
The International Day of the African Child is celebrated annually on June 16 to highlight and discuss the threats and opportunities facing the full realization of the rights of children in Africa.