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Child Protection: SCI thumbs up Katsina Govt., Assembly for passing 17-year-old bill

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Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria has commended the Katsina state Government and the State House of Assembly for passing the Child Protection Bill in the state.

Our correspondent reports that the Child Rights Act (CRA) 2003- a comprehensive legal instrument for the protection of the rights of a child was first presented to the House of Assembly 17 years ago.

SCI Nigeria gave this commendation on Friday in a press release signed by Mercy Gichuhi, Country Director of the NGO.

According to Gichuhi, the decision made by the Katsina state Assembly is a one that deserved to be celebrated as it will ensure the protection of the rights of children in the state.

The statement read, “we celebrate the decision made by the Katsina State House of Assembly for passing the Child Protection Bill that ensures the rights of Katsina State children are protected, respected and fulfilled.’’

She stated that the passage of the bill was timely as it has come at a very critical time when there is an increase in number of sexual abuse, molestation and violence, including rape, early child and forced marriage, child labour and trafficking,’’ which according to the Country Directormake children feel unsafe, unprotected and experience different forms of trauma.’’

While expressing confidence that the implementation of the Child Protection Bill would be instrumental in ending such violations of the rights of every child in Katsina state, Gichuhi urged the executive arm, agencies, ministries and bureaus in Katsina State to demonstrate their commitment towards the full implementation and ownership of the Bill.

She equally urged all remaining State House of Assemblies as well as State Governments of the Federation to toe the line of their Katsina state counterpart to domesticate the CRA 2003 in the overall interest of the protection of children across the country.

The Country Director further restated the commitment of SCI Nigeria to continue its collaboration and partnership with State parties involved in the domestication process of the Bill for its proper rollout and implementation.

She also commended the role played by the Children Parliament in the state, adding the achievement further demonstrates “ how far children can go if they are given opportunities to express themselves and speak up for the issues that concern them.’’

Our correspondent also reports that SCI Nigeria has been leading an advocacy and campaign towards the domestication of CRA 2003 in Katsina State for several years together with its partner organizations, CSOs, child champions, community, religious and traditional leaders.

The Katsina State House of Assembly had on Nov. 25 passed the Child Protection Bill, nearly 17 years after the Child Rights Act (2003) was first presented to the House to be domesticated.

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