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Child Rights Bill: Group appeals to Gombe lawmakers to fast-track process

Child Rights Bill: Group appeals to Gombe lawmakers to fast-track process

A group, Better Life for Girls in Gombe state has appealed to Gombe state House of Assembly members to fast-track the passage of the Child Rights Bill in the interest of children.

The group made the appeal in separate interviews with the our correspondent in Gombe on Thursday on the sideline of the quarterly meeting of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state.

The meeting was organised by Save the Children International (SCI).

Mrs Suuda Mustapha, the chairperson, media working group, Better Life for Girls said the bill had linger for long and now that it was before the assembly, all hands must be on deck to fast-track the process.

Mustapha said the appeal became necessary in view of the increasing cases of rape and other violations, stressing that the delay in the domestication of the Child Rights Act was detrimental to children in the state.

“We are appealing to the lawmakers to do the needful by speeding up the processes so that the public hearing can be done as soon as possible.

“This is because violations in some cases are taking the lives of some children, while those who survived do with traumatic experiences that cannot be shared or imagined in a 21st century as ours,” she said.

The chairperson said the increasing cases of violations against children had made the demand for the passage of the bill an ‘emergency’ that lawmakers should “hurry the process for passage of the bill.”

Also, the Interim Manager of Towards Ending Child Marriage (TECM) project of Save the Children International (SCI), Mr Akpan Effiong said the bill was the most important child bill and should be given all the attention.

Effiong said children’s rights needed to be protected from rape, labour and all forms of violations and this could only happen with the right laws in place, hence the need for action.

“With the rape cases of children on daily basis and other violations, lawmakers should deploy all legislative tools to ensure the quickest and fastest way to the passage of the bill,” he said.

He said the urgency of the bill made Gov Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state to present it as an Executive Bill to the assembly just to protect the children in the state.

Effiong expressed optimism that the bill would be passed soon in view of the resilience of the lawmakers other stakeholders, adding; “ from the way the bill passed first and second reading shows there is hope,” he said.

He appealed to media not to relent in ensuring that those issues on children were kept on the “ front burner” in the interest of the protection of children. 

Highlights of the meeting included a review of past activities as well as a fine-tuning of plans on how to ensure smooth implementation of SCI planned activities.

Also a sustainability plan for close out of the BetterLife for Girls project was also deliberated exhaustively as participants identified gaps to be addressed for success going forward.

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