The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in line with its mandate and advocacy for the protection of Children’s Rights, Privileges and Basic needs, so as to expand their opportunities to reach their full potentials, has called on State governors across the country who are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act to expedite action with a view to building peaceful co-existence and sustainable development.
According to the World Body, we live in a dynamic society and each nation is expected to follow global trendy’s, so as to queue-into the United Nations Initiative of freedom and total care for all child which is encapsulated in the global thinking of a world, where every child would be given equal opportunity to excel and maximize potentials for societal growth.
Consequent upon this, UNICEF living up to expectations on the protection of the Rights of children has commenced grassroots sensitization in Imo communities on the necessity for the defence of the rights of children while protecting them from every form of abuse and violence.
The UNICEF Consultant- Imo and Abia Benjamin Mbakwem disclosed this at a One- day workshop on “Child Right Protection/ Sensitization for Rural Communities in the Ikeduru and Mbaitoli Council areas of Imo State”
As part of measures to realize this, Mbakwem disclosed that the world body (UNICEF) has installed an instrument titled Birth, Death Compulsory Registration Decree that takes care of uniform birth registration system in the country with Decree Number 69 of December, 1992(now Act Number 69 of December, 1992).
According to him, UNICEF in collaboration with the National Population Commission (NAPOPC), National Orientation Agency(NOA) and Ministry of Gender Affairs, Imo State, has organized the advocacy and enlightenment campaign for communities on child’s protection right and birth registration at Ikeduru and Mbaitoli local government areas of Imo State.
According to him, global peace initiative has chorology with what the Nations across the world are able to impact on the child, while insisting that once the welfare and rights of the child is taken into cognizance the much sort after global peace and tranquility would come naturally, as a trained child is an asset to its immediate environment and the world at large.
Innocent Chinedu Agwu, Assistant Director Vital Registration,(NPOPC) speaking advised parents and heads of communities to ensure that the rights of children are well protected to spare them from Possible abuse and violation of the rights.
He said that, NPOPC, through UNICEF has been supporting the NPOPC “to ensure that every child born in Imo State is legally registered”.
Agwu added that UNICEF “supplies birth registration forms, birth certificates, organizes capacity building workshops, as well as provides technical support as computers, machines to carry out mop up operations with a view to ensuring that every child is legally registered to be able to enjoy full rights as a bona fide citizen”, hinting that the law says “if a child is not well registered, he or she does not exist”.
He noted that communities have the responsibility to protect every child from any form of abuse, violence, or discrimination irrespective of any situation, saying “because the(girl)child has the legal right of inheritance even though some cultures abhor such”
Continuing, Agwu stated that birth registration and certification are free, adding that a letter of identification and birth certificate from the local government may require some cost.
He therefore, encouraged parents to always register the birth of their children with the National Population Commission, an exercise he reflected grows population count and draws development to the society.
Emphasizing on gender equality and the need for keeping precautionary measures for safety against the Covid-19 pandemic, representatives of Gender Affairs Ministry and National Orientation Agency, Ifeoma Dike and Bonaventure Opara, urged the participants to always sanitize their hands, wear face mask and keep social distance, enjoining parents to be vigilante as to protect their children from danger while listening to them, feeding them properly and giving them sound education.
Contributing, the Chairman of the Transition Management Committee Ikeduru local government Area, Tony Jude Iwuamadi, commended Governor Hope Uzodimma and indigenes of the Local Government Area for donating palliatives to the people of the area to cushion the effects of coronavirus pandemic, saying Ikeduru is the first local government area to set up taskforce against Covid-19, reaffirming his commitment to assist his people to forge ahead and live safely and healthy.
Assuring UNICEF that they would always comply with the advocacy and enlightenment campaign against violation and abuse of children by registering birth of their children, on behalf of the participants, Bethel Iwuajoku, who is the President- General, Iho- Dimeze Community, said Ikeduru natives are hospitable, having deep sense of gender and social equality.
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