google-site-verification: googled3ad79e48fba1031.html Day of Girl Child: Lagos govt. urged to build supportive housing, correctional facilities for children – Raidar Gist
Sunday , December 16 2018
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Day of Girl Child: Lagos govt. urged to build supportive housing, correctional facilities for children

From: Romanus Okoye

As the world celebrates the international day of the girl-child, a group, the International Charitable Initiative for Girl-child & Woman Development Foundation has called on Lagos State government to build supportive

housing and independent correctional facilities as well as create

separate human rights desk for the children.

President of the group, Mrs. Helen Ibeji, in a letter submitted to the Lagos State House of Assembly, noted that

Lagos State had always pioneered innovative ideas in the areas of

child rights laws. “The State is well known for its foremost place in

piloting of new initiatives and ideas. The Lagos State Child Rights

Law and its use within the family court have done much to improve

outcomes for the young and vulnerable children, especially those

traumatised by sexual or physical assault.”

She expained that supportive housing was where young people

between the ages of 18 and 25 are accommodated to acquire education

and entrepreneurial skills. “These children have left children’s homes

but cannot return to the family environment for various reasons; such

children have not in many cases neither finished their education,

learnt necessary skills nor built enough confidence to cope on their

own. Supportive housing normally takes the form of a residential

building in the community with caregivers. The residents are evaluated

and signposted for relevant services.

“Lagos State being the flag-bearer on child rights and development may

wish to look at the development of children villages, where facilities

for education, skills training, medical and therapeutic attention can

be given to this group of children,” she noted.

The organisation urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to make such service part of the state laws.

“It is inconceivable that a girl-child

having being subjected to physical or sexual abuse in the family

environment cannot be expected to return there after leaving

children’s home. Invariable, they become homeless young adults even

more susceptible to abuse in various forms, with distinct possibility

of engaging in criminality.”

The statement emphasised that, “practitioners in the field of child

rights have long decried the lack of supporting structures such as

refuges for victims of domestic abuse, temporary placement provision

for children awaiting social services providers’ investigations,

specialist medical services for rape victims, counseling and

psychiatric care.

“The situation where young children are placed in adult prisons is

intolerable and can only lead to unwanted outcomes, hence we advocate

for development of more correctional facilities for children engaged

in crime.”

It also added, “We are advocating the inclusion of independent human

rights desk for children in every police station in the state. This is

to ensure that the training given to our police officers relating to

their interactions with the civilian population and the protection of

human rights are properly internalized and maintained when arrested or

interviewed. Such step will definitely improve citizenry, especially

parent’s confidence in the Police Force as well as indicate to the

international community that we are trying to rebrand the image of the

Police Force within the state.”

The statement concluded that it was only when the girl-child and by

extension the women gain their places as strong and equal members of

the society that vision 2030 would be a reality.

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