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Formation of benue state child protection network


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The Benue State Child Protection Network is born. We are committed to wholesome partnerships in the interest of protecting and promoting the rights of the Nigerian child!

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Formation of benue state child protection network

  1. 1. BENUE STATE CHILD PROTECTION NETWORK TRAINING/ORIENTATION HELD ON THE 27TH -28TH JULY, 2011, AT HOTEL LUCIA MAKURDI.<br />DAY1.<br />The programme started at about 10am and the opening prayer was said by REV. Fr Daniel Onda. Thereafter, the program began with an opening speech from the Hon. Commissioner for Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. Mrs Elizabeth Alagh who was ably represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Judith Hirnyam. The workshop was then formerly declared open. <br />Preceding the formal declaration of the workshop open was a group photograph by all participants and resource persons. Introduction of participants followed, and it was facilitated by Nnekka Oguagha. After the introduction, participants went out for Tea/Coffee Break.<br />The first session after tea break was on Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Child Rights Act/Law (CRA and CRL). The session was facilitated by Bar. Vitalis Ekwuem. In the course of his facilitation, he traced briefly the history of CRC and What gave rise to it. According to the Lecture, there was no specialised way of handling children that had come into conflict with the law; they were locked up with adult inmates. The desire to curb the unwholesome situation gave rise to the CRC which operates as an umbrella for the 4 sets of rules on juvenile justice, which are:<br /><ul><li>The Beijing Rules; The UN minimum Standard Rules for the administration of Juvenile Justice,
  2. 2. RIYADH Guidelines
  3. 3. The Rules for the protection of juveniles deprived of their liberty
  4. 4. The UN standard Minimum Rules, for the treatment of Prisoners.</li></ul>At the regional Level, there was the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. All the above mentioned instruments were then captured in the trinity documents as CRC, CRA, and CRL. The facilitator went into an in depth Analysis of some provisions in the BnCRL pointing out its Lacunas or what we may call lapses. He further stressed that, where such lacunas are identified, the CRA overrules. Such lapses included, the imprecise definition of a child and no exclusive jurisdiction for Family Court, although some of the provisions in same law can be relied upon by import provision. At this point, participants were given the opportunity to ask questions raise issues and are answered, this was actually done, many cases were cited, issues were raised, questions were asked, and answers were given to by the Facilitator with support from his co-facilitator.<br />The second session was led by Nneka Oguagha from, 1:50pm on the topic Orientation of Child Protection Network members. This she began with explaining the meaning of Child protection, which explained to mean, preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children. The Various forms of abuse were examined, which include; Physical, Emotional, Psychological, sexual with its attendant effects both short-term and long term. Useful tips were given on how to respond cases of abuse, calling on the society at large to act as watch dogs. The session was participatory, participants shared experiences, issues /questions were raised and were adequately attended to by the facilitator and her co-facilitator. At the end of the session, participants had Lunch.<br />After Lunch, the 3rd session commenced. The session was facilitated by Nneka Oguagha on the topic Orientation of Child Protection Network members. She stressed that, a protective environment is one where all children, government and private sector live up to their responsibilities in ensuring that children are protected from abuse and exploitation. The facilitator pointed out 8 important and essential components of a protective environment and noted that absence of any of these components exposes the child to becoming more vulnerable to abuse and violence. Also, the session was participatory, issues, questions were raised, and experiences were shared by participants. Issues/questions raised were attended to by the facilitators. After the session another Tea break was taken and activities of Day1 came to an end by 5:20pm.<br />DAY2.<br />The meeting started about 9:45am with an opening prayer from Rev. Terkura Tule. A recap of the previous day’s activities was handled by Barr. (Mrs) Amine, after which participants upheld same. Thereafter, the 1st session commenced, the session was led by Nneka Oguagha, the topic of discussion was Identification of referrals, practical session on how to make referrals for different protection cases. The participants were divided into four groups and assigned tasks to perform. From the task given, each group was expected to complete their work and nominate someone from them that would do a present on their behalf; this exercise was done successfully, participants were given reporting tools on Child Protection Network, explanations were given on how such tools can be used. Issues/questions were raised on the topics discussed, experiences were also shared, the session ended and participants were enjoined to go out for their tea break.<br />After tea break, the second session commenced and was led by Nneka Oguagha, during this session, Terms of Reference for Benue State Child Protection Network was spelt out, the session was participatory, participants made their input on what should constitute the Network’s TOR, in the process, various forms of child abuse in Benue State were identified, this included, Rape, Sexual abuse, Child Labour, Low birth registration, Child abandonment, Child Trafficking, Child marriage, etc. Also, membership of the network was also pointed out included, there were arguments on the presence of Almajiris in Benue State, it was resolved that, the issue should resolved when the Net work hold subsequent meetings, the Network’s thematic areas were also identified and finally a TOR was produced for Benue State Child Protection Network. The session ended and participants went out for Lunch.<br />After Lunch, the 3rd session started. The session was facilitated by Barr. Vitalis Ekwem, the topic of discussion was on Anti-Trafficking Laws/Situation of trafficking in the zone. The facilitator mentioned and discussed the various instruments related to the Anti-Trafficking Laws which included, <br />i)UNTOCC(1) United Nations Transactional Organised Crime Convention, <br />ii)UNTOCC PROTOCOLS -Suplementals to the preceeding law<br />iii)Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law enforcement and Administration ACT 2003 as amended. (A domestication version of UNTOCC).<br />UNTOCC Otherwise Called PARLEMO Convention Stands for United Nations Transactional Organised Crimes Convention. The convention was the main international instrument in the fight against transactional crimes such as smuggling of arms, slaves across counties, sea piracy, inter country terrorism, oil bunkering across the borders etc. The instrument was open to ratification in 2000 and took off in 2003, and every country that was part of it was under a commitment to take some measures, including, criminalising offences that relate to this. Other commitments include, <br />-Adoption of New Framework for extradition of culprits,<br />- Mutual inter-country legal assistance, and law enforcement cooperation, <br />- Promotion of training, and technical support. Other supplementary Rules that follows which relate to us directly are:<br />-The protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons especially women/Children of 25th Dec. 2003. Some key Articles here include:<br />Article I<br />-Incorporates their protocol as a supplement to the UNTOCC<br />-To protect victims of trafficking<br />-To promote cooperation among member states<br />Article 3-takes care of definition of key terms.<br />From Article 3, the Facilitator defined trafficking to mean the recruitment, transportation, Transfer, labouring or receipt of persons by means threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another, for the purpose of exploitation. He further defined Exploitation to include at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others, or other forms of sexual exploitation, force labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. He explained that, the consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in sub Paragraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth above has been used. Also, the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered trafficking in persons, even if this does not involve any of the means set forth. To him, the status of a victim of trafficking in a particular country is that of a refugee. Such a person is taken as a refugee, he receives care and shelter. He further defined a Trafficker as a person or an entity that intends to commits aids, albeit or acquiesces to an act of trafficking in persons SECTION 64. He also stated that, force or coercion includes obtaining or maintaining, through act of a person by physical, legal, psychologically or mental coercion or abuse of authority. (SECTION 64). He further stated the functions of NAPTIP clearly. Questions/issues were raised after this session, answers were given adequately by the facilitator, and experiences were shared by participants, on trafficking issues in Benue State.<br />After the third session, elections of the Network’s executive commenced. The resource persons from UNICEF insisted that MWASD shall not head the net work, but could be members or be elected in the executive of the net work. The following persons were duly elected as executive members of the Network;<br />Chairman: Nathaniel N. Awuapila<br />Vice Chairman: Habba Josephine <br />Secretary: Doki Samuel T.<br />Assistant Secretary: Bar. (Mrs) Amine, Debbie<br />Financial Secretary: Grace Atim<br />Treasurer: Christiana Oga<br />Public Relations Officer: Ameh Victoria Osinimun<br />Legal Adviser: Bar. (Mrs) M. N Atu<br />Ex-Officio members: 1-Mrs Ann Yaji.<br /> 2-Rev, Fr Onda, Daniel A.<br /> 3-Onazi Anderson<br /> After the election, the chairman of the Network gave a vote of thanks and the workshop came to an end.<br />Compiled by Doki Samuel Terungwa<br />(Secretary, Benue State Child Protection Network.)<br /> <br /> <br />