By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
Connected Development (CODE), a non-profit organisation, has applauded the Kano State Government for approving the Child Rights Protection Bill.
The reason for the bill is to protect children, girls especially, from early marriages and domestic violence, as well as punish violators of children’s rights.
Recall CODE recently raised an alarm at the increasing rate of child marriages and gender-based violence in Kano.
The organisation, in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission, had gone ahead to train 30 gender-rights advocates in the state on gender policy and legal framework; gender-based advocacy; community mobilisation; using digital advocacy tools to amplify voices of survivors and demand the wrath of the law on predators and perpetrators.
According to the state commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, displayed great commitment to child welfare by approving the Child Rights Protection Bill, especially given that he had earlier assented to the Free and Compulsory Education bill.
The commissioner, who disclosed this at the end of the council meeting held at the Africa House, Government House, Kano, said that the approved bill, which seeks to protect the rights of the child, will now be transmitted to the State House of Assembly for passage and subsequent assent by the governor.
The chief executive of CODE, Mallam Hamzat Lawal, while commending the governor for the approval in a press statement made available to LEADERSHIP and signed by the Communications Lead, Kevwe Oghide, urged for the speedy assent of the Child Rights Bill and the adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP Act), adding that by doing this, Kano is helping to reduce the number of children and women whose human rights are violated.
“There must be no delay in protecting children and women from early marriages and violence. Girls and women should have a right to education, freedom from violence, reproductive rights, access to reproductive and sexual health care, employment, freedom of movement, and the right to consensual marriage. These rights must not be taken from them”.
CODE is partnering with the trained 30 gender advocates in Kano State like Bridge Connect Initiative, Save the Women and Children Initiative, Isa Wali Initiative, Rescue the Women Foundation, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to intensify advocacy, engage key government officials and call for the domestication of the VAPP and Child Rights Acts. It will also be engaging the Kano State Assembly, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare and the Police Command in Kano to ensure enforcement once this becomes law.