Hundreds of school children, their parents, teachers and counsellors, yesterday, gathered at the 4th Annual Vanguard Children’s Conference to press for the actualisation of the rights of the Nigerian child even as stakeholders raised dust over glaring incidents of child abuse in the country, which they said had become a silent epidemic.
At the conference, with the theme, “Child Abuse: Enforcing the Child’s Right for a Peaceful Nation” which took place at the Muson Centre, Lagos, participants called for more attention and commitment to the cause of Nigerian children from parents, guardians and government at all levels. Speaking at the occasion, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who decried the perennial incidence of child abuse in the country, harped on the need to protect the rights of children at all times.
Orelope-Adefulire who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Alhaja Risikat Akiode, charged parents and guardians to report cases of child abuse to the relevant authorities as part of strategies to ensure a better future.
Advising the children, she said they should learn to speak out and report any act of child abuse to their parents and counsellors, adding: “Do not succumb to possible threat by your abusers to injure or kill you. Girls among you should also deviate from dressing indecently.”