The Oyo State House of Assembly has agreed with stakeholders in the state that offences bordering on infringement on the rights of children will no longer be tolerated in the state as every offender in whatever guise, will be made to face the law.
The Speaker of the House, Right Honourable Debo Ogundoyin made this known while speaking at the annual stakeholder’s Conference organised by the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), adding that the house is working on some laws that will protect victims and enhance prosecution of offenders in the state.
The Speaker, represented by Honourable Olawunmi Oladeji said murder cases will no longer be a bailable offence in the state as violence against person prohibition law is on the way, noting that the eighth and ninth Assembly under her leadership as the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs have passed the Child Law 2006 and the Violence against Women Law of 2016.
She explained that under the law, rapists will be given the death penalty or life imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
Also speaking, the representative of Reverend Father Ezekiel Owoeye, the JPDC director, Mr Ayorinde Olanipekun, said the effect of Covid-19 on child labour and other child rights violations must be critically looked into and solutions must be given in order to have a better society.
One of the speakers at the event, the former Zonal Director of NAPTIP, Mr Joseph Famakin called on parents to protect their children against all forms of abuse, stating that 16 states are yet to pass the child’s Right Law due to religious and cultural reasons in Nigeria, expressing the belief that the Presidency will make efforts to ensure that every state in the country will domesticate the child’s Right Law to protect children and most importantly the girl children.
At the end of the meeting, stakeholders noted that the problem of child labour and all forms of exploitation of children results from family and societal neglect and lack of implementation of available laws. They agreed that there must be a holistic approach with collective responses of all stakeholders and at all levels, including the family, community and the government.
Further, they agreed that the menace of child labour, child sexual abuse, insecurity and killings can only be curbed by social protection and recommended that to facilitate the enforcement and implementation of legal framework against child trafficking, labour and violence, cases must be reported and followed through.
They further asked for the inclusion of child rights law and sex education into the school curriculum, domestication of more family courts to prosecute offenders of child rights and abuse and stiffer punishments for offenders, re-introduction of Children’s Parliament to enforce the content of Childs Rights Law of Oyo State 2006, creation of Oyo State Child Protection Policy and immediate activation of Amotekun among others.