The Ebonyi State Government has promised to sponsor intensive awareness campaign on Child Rights and fight against all forms of violence that affect the citizenry.
Dep. Gov. Patricia Obila made the promise on Monday in Abakiliki during a community sensitisation on the Rights of Children meant to stop child trafficking, hawking, gender-based violence (GBV) and other forms of abuse.
The programme was organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, in collaboration with the Office of the Wife of the Governor, Mrs Mary-maudline Nwifuru.
Obila charged the 13 Local Government Chairpersons to step down the campaign to the grassroots to effectively promote and protect the rights of children.
She acknowledged that the advocacy would instil discipline in society and curb the different forms of violence against the children.
She gave an assurance that the administration was committed to the campaign and would continue to protect the rights of children in the state.
“We want the project to be extended to the grassroots to instil discipline in the people.
“Your little contributions and support to tackle violence against this vulnerable group can go a long way to reduce the trend,” Obila said.
Also, the governor’s wife said that the campaign was designed to address all forms of violence against children and other vulnerable persons in society.
Nwifuru, who expressed dissatisfaction over the high rate of child abuse in the state, warned people to stop giving out underaged children as househelps.
According to her, children given out as househelps, most times, end up being abused.
She promised to sponsor 20 victims of sexual exploitation to pursue their educational career.
“I will fight for every child in the state and we say no to all forms of abuse on them.
“With the help of the chairpersons and traditional leaders, we will halt the trend in the state.
“We also want parents to give proper attention to children to avoid abuse,” Nwifuru said.
In a speech, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Felicia Nwankpuma, described the programme as a pathway to eradicating all forms of child abuse, youth restiveness, GBV and other harmful practices that affect people.
Nwankpuma called on local government chairpersons to champion the crusade for a better society.
“My office has mapped out a plan of action for the realisation of the aspiration of this administration, when it comes to our policy thrust,” she said.
The Chairman of the occasion and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Uchenna Igwe, promised to step down the advocacy to the grassroots for greater impact.
The Head, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons in the state, Mrs Bertha Offor, commended the governor’s wife “for championing the course to reduce the trend in the state”.
Offor, who was a resource person at the event, warned that no child below 12, should be allowed to serve as househelp or hawk.
The Agency reports that the governor’s wife made cash donations to the victims of various forms of abuse in the state at the event.