The Lagos State Government has directed schools, health facilities, orphanages and recreational centres in the state to adopt a Child Protection Policy to safeguard children against all forms of abuses. It said the adoption of the Safeguarding and Child Protection Programme of the state would protect children from poor work practices and negligent management that could occur in these organisations.
While decrying reports on child abuse, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in an executive order made available to our correspondent, said the measure would help to provide a safe environment for children and assist government in punishing offenders.
“One of the growing trends which call for urgent attention in Nigeria today concerns incidents of rape, defilement, child abuse, neglect and maltreatment. The rampant news of alleged defilement, child abuse, through formal and informal reporting, is of particular concern to us in Lagos State for many reasons.
“While most child abuse occurs within families and communities, children also experience abuse and exploitation in organisations that provide them with support services. Reports have also shown that physical, emotional abuse and neglect in child-centred organisations and institutions are less systematic and usually un-planned. It is usually the result of poor conditions, bad work practices and negligent management.
“It is therefore imperative for the state government to take action against these violent crimes so as to ensure the safety and security of all our children. It is to this end that this Safeguarding and Child Protection Programme has been developed to prescribe management systems in place to create and maintain a safe environment for all our children,” he said.