Over 300 parents have been engaged on key issues relating to Child rights in Lagos State.
The step was in furtherance of moves to ensure that child abuse is eradicated in all its forms in the state,
During the maiden Lagos State Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Conference on Child Abuse, participants were sensitised on their roles in ensuring that schools and all other child-centred institutions, strictly adhere to the provisions of the Lagos State Mandated Reporting Policy.
The Coordinator, of Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said that whilst law enforcement, religious institutions, social workers and other relevant stakeholders were being trained on how to appropriately respond to Child Abuse; parents, who should usually be first responders must not be left out as they had pivotal roles to play in preventing and responding to Child Abuse.
Mrs Vivour-Adeniyi added that the participants, drawn from both public and private institutions, consisted of members of various PTAs with Lagos State spanning over 100 schools drawn from Education District Six.
“Parents were engaged in an interactive manner and empowered with information as to what child abuse entails, as well as the importance of child rights; they were further informed on the signs to look out for if there is a suspected case of abuse and steps to take if a child is indeed being abused, the provisions of the Lagos State Mandated Reporting Policy was also communicated to participants, child abuse is indeed criminal and everybody is mandated to report actual or suspected child abuse to the relevant authorities,”she stressed.
According to her, the utmost importance was the need for parents to be empowered with resources and contact details of relevant organisations to report to if there is an actual or suspected case of Child Abuse.
“From the feedback gotten from participants, the Conference was deemed successful in igniting the zeal and commitment from Parents and Teachers to become ambassadors and flag bearers in the fight against child abuse in the state,” she said.
It would be recalled that on the 16th of December 2016, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode ratified an Executive Order on “Safeguarding and Child Protection programme ,” making it mandatory for all child-centred institutions to adopt a Child Protection Policy.