By John Micheal
To halt violence against children in the state, the Edo State Government is set to launch a policy document that stipulates jail terms for perpetrators of the act.
Speaking during a rally organised by the state government to raise public awareness and curry supports to end all forms of violence against children, wife of the Edo State Governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, said the state prioritises the place of children in development and wouldn’t want anything to hinder their role as stakeholders in the development of the state.
Represented by Special Adviser to the Governor on Gender, Efosa Uyigwe, Mrs Obaseki said, “The state government need to be supported by stakeholders in its plan to make the state safe for children and prevent all forms of violence against them. Parents, religious, traditional and civil society leaders must come together to support government’s actions.”
She added, “It is sad that children are violated in places where they ought to be protected. These places include schools, churches, and homes. We must work with the state government to stop all forms of violence against children. The best way to put an end to this practice is to raise awareness to halt the practice.”
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen, urged parents and other stakeholders to support government’s campaign, noting, “Parents and other stakeholders need to collaborate with the government to curb the practice in which children are subjected to mental, emotional, sexual, domestic abuse and physical violence.”
She reiterated that “government will no longer tolerate any form of violence against children in the state. Any individual found culpable to have carried out any form of violence against children in the state risks jail term.
“Parents and other stakeholders should be aware of their responsibility to safeguard children from these ills. Children should be encouraged to be the best they can. This will enable them contribute to the development of the state and country.”
Ohenhen said that the state government led by Governor Obaseki would fully implement the laws against the abuse of children, adding, “This will enable the state government halt the use of children for hawking; sexual molestation and other forms of violence.”
Speaker, Edo Children’s Parliament, Miss Abieyuwa Efeomo Omoregie urged governments and other stakeholders to build and support structures that will encourage children to exploit their potentials, adding, “Our only demand is for institutions of government and other concerned stakeholders in the state to collaborate and protect children who are the future of the state.”