By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Head of Programme, Women Development and Child’s Rights Programme for Justice, Development and Peace Commission, (JDPC) Mrs. Omotayo Mala-Adebayo on Tuesday disclosed that the commission rescued 710 children in Ibadan in the last twelve months.
Mrs Adebayo stated this while speaking at a one day stakeholders’ meeting in Ibadan entitled “Awareness Creation and Campaign Against Child Trafficking and Labour”
The JDPC Head of Programme also said 378 children were at the same period reunited with their families in Ibadan and are doing well in their various homes.
She stressed that the over 710 school age minors were picked and rescued in Dugbe, Gbagi, Bodija and Ojoo markets, Dandaru Cultural centre, Ayeye, Ogunpa and Agbaje areas of Ibadan.
The JDPC programme head maintained that no fewer than 252 children are presently on its scholarship scheme as part of the commission’s move towards ensuring a better future for the children.
Speaking further, Mrs Mala-Adebayo noted that child trafficking and child Labour “is still rampant in Ibadan due to low level of awareness about the dangers of the menace and that to curb this, JDPC had in the last one year embarked on aggressive campaign and enlightenment to sensitise the people about its dangers.
The Head of Programme urged stakeholders across the country to rise up and support the JDPC in its activities at finding an end to child trafficking and child Labour in the society.
Speaking at the meeting, the Director of JDPC, Rev Father Ezekeil Owoeye tasked stakeholders to join hands with JDPC in the fight against the menace.
Rev Father Owoeye advised those still into child trafficking and child Labour to desist from it now or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
The WDP Programme Officer, Mr Ayo Olanipekun in his remark, declared that his body reunited 11 families while plans are on towards given educational support to about 400 most indigenous children.
“We have identified 560 children among whom are 400 most indigent students that will benefit from the educational support programme. Some were giving vocational support while we have given out sewing machines and other tools to them. In the first phase, we introduced what we called vocational programme, we also focused on rehabilitation of affected children so that they will return to school and those that could not do so we put them in vocational training”.
In a communique issued at the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, JDPC identified child exploitation as inhuman behavior and that all the stakeholders should prevail on governments at all levels to make primary education free for all.
“Government agencies must intensify efforts to bring to book anyone culpable of such act, make primary education free for all.
“The conference believes that the enforcement of the child’s right act is most needed now; provision and establishment of a family court, rather than levying shelter owners, government should support and partner with them. Lawmakers should enact laws that will keep children in their homes and ones that will punish the culprits” it said.
JDPC added in the communique that “the society must support campaign against child trafficking and Labour and regularly speak out when necessary”.
The meeting was attended by religious leaders, traditional rulers, representatives of security and enforcement agencies including Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, NAPTIP and media organizations.
710 abandoned school age minors rescued in Ibadan in 12 months, reunites 378 others – JDPC
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.