The United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Kebbi State government for enacting the Child Protection Law.
The fund said, by signing the law, the Kebbi State Government has become the 31st State to domesticate the Nigeria Child Rights Act (CRA) passed by Nigeria’s National Assembly in 2003.
UNICEF called on the State government to allocate and release adequate resources as well as put in place mechanisms for full implementation of the law to grant children the rights enshrined in it.
The Kebbi State Child Protection Bill was signed into law by the State Governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu at the weekly Executive Council Meeting at the Council Chambers of Government House, Birnin Kebbi, recently.
Governor Bagudu also signed into law, the Prohibition of Violence Against Individuals bill during the weekly Executive Council Meeting.
“We congratulate the government and people of Kebbi State on this momentous achievement. By providing legislation that protects the rights of its children, Kebbi State has taken the right decision to provide its children the enabling environment to thrive and reach their full potential,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
“Putting in place this law is good but just the first step. The Kebbi State Government must take the next important step by putting in place structures and allocating resources for its full implementation. UNICEF urges that the law be gazetted without delay,” added Hawkins.
“On its part, UNICEF will continue to collaborate with the Kebbi State Government on interventions that contribute to the fulfillment of the rights of children, including the implementation of the Kebbi State Child Rights Law. UNICEF calls on the States that are yet to domesticate the Nigeria Child Rights Act to do so without any further delay,” said Hawkins.
In 2003, Nigeria’s National Assembly enacted the Child Rights Act (CRA), which derives from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which Nigeria is a signatory; and all of Nigeria’s 36 States are expected to domesticate the law. Not all States in Nigeria have domesticated the law, however.
By signing the Child Rights bill into law, Kebbi State has joined the group of states which have a legislative framework through the domestication of the Nigeria Child Rights Act.
Thirty-one (31) States have so far enacted the state equivalents of the Child Rights Act. Five States are yet to domesticate the law: Adamwa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and Zamfara.
To contribute to the fulfilment of children’s rights in Nigeria, UNICEF, in collaboration with partners, has been supporting government at the State and Federal levels to put in place laws and policies which address child rights issues, and the Kebbi State Child Protection Law is one of the results of such efforts.