By Lucky Isibor
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured that the state’s ‘Priority Response Plan to End Violence Against Children,’ will strengthen measures to check violence against children and protect them from abuse.
Obaseki who was represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, at the launching of the “Edo State Priority Response Plan to End Violence Against Children (E-VAC),” in Benin City, noted that such structures were necessary to guarantee children the opportunity to contribute to national development.
He said the policy, “will check and strengthen legal framework put in place to end violence against children. I am, however, optimistic that with the E-VAC document, individuals who perpetuate any form of violence against children in the state will be prosecuted for the crime.”
The governor reiterated, “the state will continue to strengthen all legal apparatus put in place to protect children in the state against abuses. We will also make sure that we build a solid foundation to secure the future of our children.
“We must all explore these legal apparatus: the Family Court, Child Right Act and other Child Protection documents developed to end violence against children.”
Speaking at the event, wife of the state governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki said, “ending violence against children requires the collaborative effort of all stakeholders. The state government has demonstrated willingness to curb incidences of violence against children, and requires the support of other concerned stakeholders to protect these children.”
Mrs. Obaseki however, commended the state government and stakeholders for supporting the development of the state E-VAC document, and urged parents to begin to shun practices that expose children to violence.”
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Magdalene Ohenhen, said the E-VAC policy document was developed by the state government in response to findings of a national survey conducted by the National Population Commission in 2014.
Ohenhen said the document, which has input from children, will assist the ministry in addressing cases of neglect, abandonment and all forms of violence against children from persons they ought to feel safe with.
Speaker, Edo Children’s Parliament, Miss Jacinta Omoregie, commended the state government for bringing relevant stakeholders together to curb the menace, noting, “The campaign to end violence against children requires global action. The E-VAC document would strengthen child protection and welfare in the state.”