By; JULIANA KATUNG, Kaduna
Issue of Almajiri has been identified among complex challenges facing Nigeria, and the need to provide policy framework on the remodeling of the Almajiri system at the national and the state was also emphasised.
The civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre
(CISLAC) made the call while soliciting for proper implementation of the Child Rights Act, for the protection of children in
Speaking in an interview shortly after a dialogue with stakeholders on advancing the rights of Almajiri in Nigeria in Kaduna, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, the Executive Director, CISLAC appealed to the National Assembly to ensure effective implementation of child rights act by giving out framework to guarantee the safety of children.
According to him, states should ensure that the act takes care of the right to health and education of the young people.
He said It is pertinent that the government at both national and subnational levels and institutions alike live up to their responsibilities
of protecting the legitimate rights of children to social services and protection in line with the vonvention on the rights of children.
” African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and other such rights-related legal instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory, as well as the Child Rights Act which has been domesticated by some states and hosts rights that are convenient and conducive to the welfare of children.”
He disclosed that CISLAC with support from MacArthur Foundation, hosted the one-day dialogue with the hope to examine the legal frameworks and interventions that pertain to the issue and its implementation.
The director further explained that the dialogue was set to harvest opportunities to strengthen advocacy and explore collaborations that leverage existing networks and resources
towards shaping, promoting and championing reforms that advance the promotion of the rights of the Almajiri.
“the Almajiri children are disadvantaged in their
access to information on COVID-19 and the opportunity of having parental guidance on the messages and guidelines, by implication they lack the opportunity to protect themselves, given their ignorance of social distancing regulations and lack of access to palliatives and medical services” he said.
He noted that, in spite of various interventions by past and current administrations and non-state actors, the precarious situation of the
Almajiri has persisted and worsened.
Rafsanjani also decried the marimginalization on the group which has exacerbated the marginalization in terms of health status and welfare.
“Twin-tragedy of increased poverty and ignorance had assumed greater dimensions in sections of the country where the ‘almajiri system is prevalent and the entire nation by extension.
” Being easy prey for recruitment entrenches the narrative, which provides a nexus between issues of illiteracy, poverty and general social deprivation that defines the scourge of the out-of-school children and the menace of Boko Haram insurgency,” he said.