By Uchenna Ugwu
The Human Right and Conflict Resolution Centre (HRCRC), Ebonyi State, says that exposition of children to all kinds of street violence could in future put the entire society at risk.
The Centre cautioned the nation on consequences of street violence at a one-day training with the topic “Child Rights Violations, Monitoring, Documentation, Reporting and Case Management,’’ on Sunday in Abakaliki.
Mr Aga Nwankwo, the officer in-charge of Access to Justice Unit of the HRCRC, said that the training was to acquaint members with the basic understanding of child’s rights.
The training was geared to improve every child’s dignity, respect for children’s distinct set of rights.
Nwankwo also stated that it would empower the local actors who would work in the interest of child’s rights and to protect children from all forms of violence.
The child, he said, had the rights to health services, survival and development, life, leisure and dignity, free compulsory universal primary education, and parental care among others.
“Going by the fact that children are born the same everywhere, there should be need to recognise their vulnerability.
“This is to ensure their protection just the manner it is contained in treaties, customary law, general principles, state, national and International Laws, “Nwankwo said.
He explained that in order to enhance legal procedures and ensure maximum prosecution of child rights abuse; participants should be able to identify violation and report to appropriate authorities.
Mrs Flora Egwu, State Coordinator of Child Protection Network (CPN), said that every child was potentially at risk of abuse and exploitation.
She added that some might be more vulnerable due to marginalisation and discrimination relating to their socio-economic status, ethnicity, living situation, gender and disability.
“I urge you all to always condemn all forms of abuse against them by reporting promptly, cases in their locality and also protecting them from exploitation, child labour, sexual abuse, trafficking and other abuses,” Egwu said.
Meanwhile, Acting Director of the centre, Mr Dominic Okoliko, said that the event was purposely to train local actors from different communities in the state on how best to implement the outcome of the training.
Okoliko stated that parents were expected to have intense interest in their children who are future leaders.
“Lack of interest by parents on their children is among factors for their neglect. The interest of the child must be paramount,” Okoliko said.
Mr Godwin Igwe, a Resource person, spoke on the need for parents to stop sending their children to live with people as house helps.
He said there was also the need to sensitise Juvenile Welfare Centres of the Nigeria Police Force to protect a child without fear or favour.
He identified large family, neglect of responsibilities by parents, and poverty as factors causing violence against children.
Mr Cletus Igwe, a participant, urged the organisers to always embark on sensitisation to create better awareness.