United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on the Kano state government to domesticate Nigeria Child Rights Act in order to provide the framework for child protection. UNICEF country Representative, Peter Hawkins, made the call, during a webinar, organized by the UNICEF in partnership with Kano State Government and Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI) to discuss the Alternate pathways and future of Almajirai in the state.
In 2003, Nigeria passed the Child Rights Act but currently only 25 states have domesticated the law while 11 states are yet to do so. Hawkins therefore called on traditional leaders, communities and parents to look at putting children at the fore-front of what they do. “Government should also look at domesticating the Child Rights Act in Kano. Kano has not yet domesticated the Child Rights Act. The Act defines the rights of a child, parents, communities and government in fulfilling the rights of that child.
“We need to enhance the social protection element, increase livelihood, identify and reintegrate these children with their families”, he stated. He further stated that the issue of girls’ education is so critical that all must look for alternative ways not leave them behind. “With the COVID19 lockdown, this is a period to skill up the teachers, bring the girls and boys back to school and give them access to education. It’s about the ability to value what they will learn”, Hawkins Stressed.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, in his remarks, informed the state has already decided to carry out a census to build up data of Almajiri children and create a sustainable programme for them. “We found out we have three categories of Almajiris in Kano – those that belong to Kano state, those from other states and those that don’t know where they come from. These children have a right to be educated, protected and a right to be with their parents. We are trying to create a sustainable program, so even when we leave office the program will still be sustained.