Ondo State Agency Against Gender-Based Violence(OSAA-GBV), Westminster Foundation For Democracy (WFD) and different relevant nongovernmental organizations, on Tuesday, concluded a 2-Day dialogue on how to sensitise and implement Violence Against Persons Prohibition law(VAPP) in schools across the 18 local government areas of the state.
The agency, foundation and NGOs were piqued by the rising incidences of child abuse and decided to embark on dialogue to fashion out ideas that would form robust legal instruments protecting children in schools.
Mr. Adebowale Olorunmola, country director, of WFD, Nigeria, explained that the essence of the dialogue was to ensure that adequate sanctions that would serve as deterrents to child abuse are formulated.
He noted that the implementation of the policies would incorporate everyone working on school premises to be conversant with the policies and make school premises safe.
Barrister Bolanle Afolabi, the executive secretary, OSAA-GBV disclosed that the WFD’s country director and the Programme Manager, Mrs. Sola Afolayan had been supporting her agency in the child protection policy.
She explained that the agency was focusing on making it “A moral and statutory responsibility of government and by extension stakeholders in the education sector, parents, guardians, and school’s staff including teachers, counsellors, head of schools, gardeners, gateman and others to provide a safe and welcoming environment where pupils and students are respected and valued.”
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Adebunmi Osadahun tasked parents to be conscious of their children’s behaviour to discover whenever they are being abused.
She lamented that many maids have been reduced to permanent slaves in the homes of wealthy Nigerians.
Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami of BAOBAB advised parents to monitor their male children when they’re attaining puberty age to prevent them from abuse.
Mrs. Betty Akeredolu-Anyanwu, office of the state governor, represented by Hon. Olamide Falana, the Special Adviser (Gender) to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said the state government had put in place systems to ensure all hands are on deck toward ending child abuse in the state.
She disclosed that first-line responders on gender-based violence response, medical officers and security operatives have been trained on how to deal with victims with utmost empathy without harm.
Likewise, legal officers have been trained on how to use VAPP law as a tool for the prosecution of cases