The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) on Tuesday called on relevant stakeholders not to relent in the fight against violated children.
A statement issued in Abuja quoted the Vice President of the association, Mrs Inime Aguma, as making this appeal at the National Executives meeting held in Kwara.
The theme of the meeting was” Protection of children and young persons from sexual abuse”.
She called on agencies of government, ministries, security agencies, National Assembly, National Human Rights Commission, faith based organisations, Judiciary, CSOs and other relevant organisations at the federal and state levels to continue to fight for rights of children.
“FIDA Nigeria observes with dismay the incessant abuse of children as young as four months by persons who ordinarily should provide care, protection and security.
“FIDA Nigeria cannot afford to stay silent in the face of such dehumanisation and degradation of our future generation,” she said.
Aguma said the theme was to create a platform to build the capacity of members to continue to provide legal services to violated children.
She said the association has 33 branches providing free legal clinics where parents, guardians and good citizens of Nigeria can report cases of these menace, and members are obliged to ensure proper prosecution of these perpetrators.
“As lawyers, we believe that we are equipped to take action through the instrumentality of the law to make our society a better place for our children.
“For example, in Niger State, a 12-year-old boy was sexually abused by a man, the perpetrator was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to one month imprisonment.
“The child victim eventually died from the severe injuries and damage from the assault,” she said.
Aguma said the perpetrator was re-arrested and is being prosecuted for murder for the death of the boy.
Besides, she called on all states in the country yet to adopt the Child Rights Act to domesticate and ensure its full implementation together with all laws concerning children especially the establishment of a family court in each state.
“We acknowledge the role of the media in projecting this menace especially the use of the social media in creating this awareness.
“We however appeal to all media outfits to continue in exposing the perpetrators of this menace.
“Let us break the silence and join FIDA Nigeria to say NO to all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation of all children in Nigeria,” Aguma urged. (NAN)