Child Protection Network (CPN) is a chain of charity organizations or NGOs within Alimosho Local Government Area (LGA) and even Lagos state, linked up by a common mission, zeal and goal to identify report and manage different magnitudes of child abuse. Members of this network are drawn from various LCDAs who came together under different NGO identities to fight increasing rate of abuses and moral decays in the area.
The state chapter of CPN inaugurated Alimosho chapter in 2014 with the mandate to report, mediate and even prosecute child abuse cases.
Unarguably, the most reported Local Government and in fact the biggest Local Government Area in Lagos state is Alimosho LGA and is very notorious for cases of child abuse, child molestation and child deprivations.
The birth of Child rights law
- Convention on the right of the Child (CRC) (1989)
- African Charter on the Right and Welfare of the Child (1990)
- The 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria
- The Child’s Rights Act (CRA)(2003)
- The child’s Rights Law of Lagos (CRL) (2007)
It must be recalled that the African Union of Nations came together in 1990 to address the growing rate of child abuse and violation of child rights all over African nations. They noted the vulnerability of African children to all forms of abuses and agreed that nations of Africa including Nigeria should go back to their countries and domesticate the convention on rights of the children in their respective countries. Of course UNICEF played a big role in the adaptation, enlightenment and more recently enforcement. The National Assembly adopted it into an act in 1991 and in 2007 the Lagos state house of assembly passed it into law.
Amongst all the states in Nigeria, Lagos state Govt. has gone ahead to implement this child rights law through the State ministry of women affairs and poverty alleviation (WAPA), State ministry of Youth & social Development (MYSD) and the State ministry of justice culminating into the inauguration of local Government Child Protection Network chapters facilitated by UNICEF .
In Alimosho chapter, heads of many NGOs, the members of the local government staffs and the head of communities, head of schools were brought in 2014 to form Alimosho chapter of CPN.
We are therefore poised to lending our voices in defence of the innocent children within our communities with the belief that powerless children need powerful voices.
In order to achieve this we began advocacy visits and enlightenment campaign to traditional rulers within the local Government area explaining to them the magnitude of child abuse and the consequences and calling on the traditional rulers to spread the news within their territory.
We moved to local markets in Igando and Ikotun distributing flyers in local languages and from there to the secretariat of the Alimosho local government. We hosted seminars for students and teachers on child abuse prevention within the local Government area. We held awareness and enlightenment campaign with one hundred and fifty-two (152) head of communities in Alimosho Local Government and Collected their phone contact for bulk messaging and reminders on their meeting days.
Bulk of teachers the state engage in teaching service are youth Corpers and many of them are unaware of the child rights law of the state especially the use of corporal punishment, consequently we moved into the NYSC orientation camp at Ipaja road, Agege and addressed three thousand one hundred (3000) Corpers 2016 batch A stream 2.
Looking into physical abuse particularly spanking and caning we found out that the bulk of the private school teachers within Alimosho local government are culpable. Consequently, we embarked on training and awareness for teachers and proprietors of schools and as at now we have trained 150 teachers on child abuse and its consequences.
We have mediated and legally intervened in ten (10) rape cases, twelve (12) physical abuse cases, occasioning bodily injuries and rescued several children from emotional abuse and neglect.
The biggest challenge that seems to be confronting us is the policing and prosecutions of abuse cases. Therefore we organised a training program for fifty (50) senior police officers of Area M divisional command and it was fully attended with members of the press community, teachers, schools, students and proprietors. This was held within the premises of the Area M police command and was aired across the nation on NTA news line.
Seeking further collaboration with other relevant NGOs, we paid courtesy calls and interacted with the Women Rights and Health Project (WRAHP) and rubbed minds together on how to strengthen our activities.
Many mismanaged children have been given psychosocial/ support/ mediation/ reconciliation and restored back to the biological family under our emergency care shelter located at green land estate Idowu-Egba.
It is worth noting that up till moment we have not accessed any fund, grant, donation or sponsorship for our activities in Alimosho from anywhere. We actually made good attempts without any positive response but we remain undaunted, passion driven and we will never be discouraged.
The journey is still far as we look forward to executing the following projects;
(1) Creation of data bank containing contact phone numbers of all community leaders in Alimosho. This we hope will enhance our information dissemination and awareness creation;
(2) A bigger property to use as emergency children centre for supervisory care and protection for children whose cases are under investigation;
(3) Erection of bill boards in prominent locations for creation of awareness on child abuse and prevention;
(4) Distribution of more campaign materials, flyers and banners;
(5) A bigger office for receiving reports on child abuse cases and for follow-up;
(6) Intensify contact with community leaders in their LCDAs;
(7) Training the trainers’ seminar for our members;
(8) Trainings for more schools, teachers, proprietors and PTA;
(9) Visit to churches and religions organization for campaign;
(10) Capacity building for members and technical support
(11) 50000 Almanac on Child Abuse sensitization.
(12) Radio Jingle.
(13) Sponsored Drama presentation and Home video on Child abuse;
(14) Developing Child Protection Policy Handbook for schools etc.
Please permit me to end on this note; ‘I have a dream of a new dawn, when the dignity of the Nigerian Child will be fully restored, when all forms of maltreatment and violence against Children will end, when the weakest Child in the class will receive the best attention of the class teacher, when Parents will manage out of control Children without damaging, when Children will have contact without contamination. This is My Dream”