Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close



12m Nigerian children out of school, says report

Posted by From Chris Garba, Abuja on 2004/10/27 | Views: 2532 |

12m Nigerian children out of school, says report


A REPORT published by the Federal Ministry of Education has indicated that some 12 million Nigerian Children are already out of school, while the United Nations International children's Education Fund (UNICEF) says up to eight million Nigerian Children are being subjected to the worst forms of exploitative child labour.

A REPORT published by the Federal Ministry of Education has indicated that some 12 million Nigerian Children are already out of school, while the United Nations International children's Education Fund (UNICEF) says up to eight million Nigerian Children are being subjected to the worst forms of exploitative child labour.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja during a one-day workshop on the socio-economic implications of human trafficking and child labour, the Executive Secretary of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs. Carol Ndaguba, said that the "ugly trend" countered the philosophy of the Universal Basic Education (UBE), which is free and compulsory and is aimed at providing qualitative education for Nigerian children.

Ndaguba also disclosed that since January 2004, NAPTIP's investigation task force on human trafficking-made up of the police and immigration officers-has rescued about 15 different batches of trafficked victims being led by the traffickers to Europe, en route the desert.

"Over 35 cases were investigated by the agency, of which six were considered adequate for court prosecution. Four of the cases are being prosecuted at a Benin High Court, while two are in a Kano High Court. About 15 human trafficking cases are currently under investigation," she said.

The executive secretary said that the agency had rescued about 70 trafficked victims, while about 35 have been counselled, rehabilitated and re-united with their families. He added that an amazing breakthrough was recorded recently by the agency when it successfully broke the conspiracy of silence hampering the investigation and prosecution of traffickers by arresting some juju priests in Edo State, who usually administered blood oaths of secrecy on the victims.

"This oath has always scared victims from testifying against the traffickers. Today, the jinx has been broken by the agency, which in addition, protects witnesses, and victims from reprisal attacks by the traffickers", she said.

In a keynote address, Minister of Women's Affairs, Obong Rita Akpan, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, revealed that Nigeria was the first and only country in West Africa to enact an anti-human trafficking act and establish a law enforcement agency.

She said that so far, an advocacy campaign has been mounted to persuade state legislatures to pass the child's rights act into state laws, adding that as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Nigeria was obliged to fulfil to every Nigeria child, all the rights grouped under the four pillars of survival, development, protection and participation.

The minister, who was represented at the occasion by THE Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Oluche Edache, said that the passage in July 2003, of the Child Rights Act domesticated the UN convention and gives legal effect to the commitment made by Nigeria under the convention.

"I need to emphasise that child labour and human trafficking are social vices, which are inimical to the growth and development of any nation," she said.

Unfortunately, Obong Rita Akpan went on, these vices have continued unabated in Nigeria, thereby attracting global attention. The rights covered by the Child Rights Act, 2003, included the right to education, health, protection from harm such as child labour, child trafficking and child abuse, as well as the right to leisure and recreation.

The one-day workshop with the theme: "Protecting the future of Nigerian youths", was packaged to sensitize youths, particularly students from secondary schools, Youth Corps members, selected youth groups and some cultural, religious groups and women organisations in the Federal Capital Territory FCT.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :