In order to protect the rights of children in the state, the Ondo State Government has begun the implementation of a child protection law.
To that end, the Ondo State Agency Against Gender-Based Violence has formed a partnership with an international organization, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, to validate the draft child protection policy and has completed plans to begin sensitization of the public about the new policy.
Mr. Adebowale Olorunmola, Country Representative of WFD, explained at the program on Thursday in Akure, the capital of Ondo State, that the policy was put in place to protect children under the age of 18 from violence at school, at home, and on the streets.
According to him, the law’s survival was heavily reliant on the support and participation of all stakeholders, including parents, teachers, public institutions, security agencies, and the general public.
“The essence of the validation is to ensure that nothing is left out and that nothing that was not agreed upon is added,” he explained.
“There is agreement that the document is necessary for the protection of our children in schools, as well as making schools conducive and welcoming to children.” Not only in schools, but also in other places where children face adversity, to ensure that they are protected, safe, and not violated.
“There is a need to raise awareness, and no single institution can do so.” All stakeholders, including the fourth estate of the realm, must ensure this happens.”
Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the state governor’s wife, called on parents, teachers, and non-teaching staff in schools to create a conducive and welcoming environment for students in her remarks.
The Ondo first lady, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of OSAAGBV, Barrister Bolanle Afolabi, stated that government agencies could not do it alone, and that all stakeholders must play their respective roles.
Afolabi, who spoke with journalists after the event, said her agency would soon begin sensitization and education of the people about the policy’s contents across the state’s 18 local government areas in collaboration with all necessary stakeholders, including traditional rulers.
“As an agency, we will monitor all schools to ensure that all individualize policies are properly implemented in all Ondo State schools.”
“We will also collect data on any abuses that may have occurred in schools and ensure that justice is served.”
“Students’ rights in schools must be protected,” she wrote.