Barrister (Mrs) Adesola Adeyemi Tuki, Ondo State Law Commission
The Child Rights Act 2003, is the foremost legislation with the possession of the rights of children. But unfortunately, fifteen years now, after the enactment of the law, the effect has not actually being felt as it ought to be.
In Ondo state, the Child Rights, is domesticated as Child Rights Law. It’s been in the state. This action was based on every act taken concerning the child.
Whether the child is undertaken by guardian parents or the public. You know we have so many of them .
The survival, development, protection and participation. And up to their rights, the fundamental Rights of every child was enshrined in the Child Rights Act. The Right to live, survival, as enshrined in the constitution.
Furthermore, they have the rights to their protection and also education.
But unfortunately, you see most of these children, going about hawking. Some of them even earn for their parents, when they ought to have parental care and protection and whatsoever. These children are vulnerable, making decisions on their own.
It has really affected the child under this Act. But we thank God there is a family court.
Repeatedly, we have learnt about abuse of these vulnerable group. These children, you know when you ask a child to go and hawk, , anybody can entice or trick the child and abuse him or her. You will find out such child had list decency.
So, we thank God that we have a family court.
The child has a right which maybe enforced, monitored or carried out on his or her behalf, by the guardian, or parents or whosoever custody the child is.
So, I just want to say that when some issues come up, for example defilement, it is unfortunate that the parents may compromise once they are settled financially. You see them withdrawing cases from court.
What I just want to say is that in such cases, these people back out immediately the case gets to a law court.
Such should not be allowed. It should be seen as felony.
We should be our brothers keeper. We should not say it’s not my business, when we see this happening to our sisters, probably where a father commits incest. We should endeavour to report the cases. By so doing, the rights of children will be protected.
I equally want to appeal to our guardians and parents, not to compromise when such cases come up. They should be seen as compounding felony.
I want to suggest that they should be enlightened. We should continue with more enlightenment like organising seminars, conferences and, workshops.
It is through the media we can reach out to people affected.