UROMI (EDO STATE) – A faith based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Uromi Justice Development Peace and Caritas Initiatives (Uromi JDPCI) of the Catholic Diocese of Uromi has called on local, state and national legislators in Nigeria to support legislation that would better protect children from abuses, and engender better lives for them.
The Executive Director of Uromi JDPCI, Very Rev. Fr. Fidelis Arhedo made the call while delivering a keynote address to audience at an event organized by the body in Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State, to commemorate the 2021 Child Protection Day.
He described Child Protection as the safeguarding of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect, adding that Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Right of the child provides for the protection of children in and out of schools and places of worship.
The clergyman also emphasized the need for leaders in the community to be supportive of children and families, just as he asked employers to provide family-friendly work environment.
He blamed lack of parenting skills, drug and alcohol use, poor parent-child relationship, difficulties in managing anger and stress, personal health issues, including low self-confidence, among others for the prevalence of child abuse in the society.
Rev. Fr. Arhedo consequently admonished parents to discipline their children thoughtfully, teach children their rights, invest in kids and implored people to endeavour to report any case of child abuse to relevant agencies for prosecution.
Speaking on the the theme of the 2021 Child Protection Day, “The Role of Parents and Caregivers in the Protection of Children, the Coordinator of the Edo State Child Protection Network, Barr. Stella Obehi Ojeme said it was the right of every child to be protected.
He listed the types of Child Abuse to include Physical, Emotional and Sexual Abuses, asserting that abusing a child constituted the worst thing anybody could do to a child.
” It is the right of children to be protected. When you protect children, you are not doing them a favour. It is the duty of everyone to protect children because we are all stakeholders.
“Not putting a child in school is another form of child abuse. Every child deserve to be well treated. Discrimination against children is yet another form of abuse”, she said.
Participants at the event were secondary students from the five local government areas of Edo Central Senatorial Districts, parents, teachers, security agents, civil society groups, among others.