Activist lawyer Mr Taiwo Akinlami has said it is the responsibility of adults to protect children.
Akinlami spoke on Child abuse, child trafficking and child rights at a seminar organized by the Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch.
The theme was: Protecting the rights of vulnerable citizens in our society.
Akinlami, a child rights activist, said ‘child vulnerability’ was due to ‘adult irresponsibility’.
According to him, a child can be abused physically, emotionally, sexually or through neglect.
“In 2006, a United Nations report titled: “Report on Violence against Children 2006’’, states that abuse occurred in all countries but is more rampant in developing countries.
“The UN noted in the report that nearly all national and international laws created to protect the rights of children have flatly failed.
“Though the report did not state why the laws flatly failed but the cause is a lack of enforcement of these laws,’’ Akinlami said.
‘According to him, the number one enforcer of the law is the human conscience which is awaken by enlightenment and enlightenment will address issues in our culture.
“We focus a lot on physical discipline in Africa while neglecting to show discipline through example to the child,” he said.
Another speaker, Mrs Ifeyinwa Awagu, Acting Director, Institute of Humanities, Pan Atlantic University, addressed issues of gender equality in her speech titled: “Domestic violence and female rights’’.
Awagu said teaching children self-mastery would help curb sexual promiscuity.
“In Africa, we live communal lives; the lifestyle of individualism was gotten from the west.
“For sexual promiscuity to be curbed in children, especially the male ones, they need to teach our children self-mastery.
“If we don’t teach our children self-mastery, monogamy will become an issue and sexual abuse will be rife,” she said.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the Chairman of Human Rights Committee of the NBA, Mrs Caroline Ibharuneafe, spoke about the efforts the committee had made in protecting the rights of the vulnerable.
She said that the aims and objectives of the Human Right Committee of the NBA is to offer of free legal services to the indigent of our society.
“With the cooperation of the Deputy Comptroller of the Ikoyi Prisons, we have visited Ikoyi prisons, interviewed some of the inmates and presently offering free legal services to these indigent ones.
“This is so because there are sections in the society who by virtue of birth, status and occupation are naturally vulnerable to abuses by the privileged in the society,” she said.
23 May, 2017