The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has applauded the government of Jigawa State for taking lead in the signing into law of the Child Protection Bill, stressing that it set another milestone for children’s rights achievement in Nigeria.

The bill became law in Jigawa State on 22 December 2021, 18 years after the Federal Government of Nigeria enacted the Child Rights Act 2003 and urged state governments to domesticate the Act into state law. Thus commending Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa state for its domestication.

According to a statement signed by the Communication Officer, UNICEF Nigeria, Safiya AkauA total of 29 states, including Jigawa, have now domesticated the Act into law, with eight remaining. All the remaining States are in the process of domestication and some have even been passed at the State Houses of Assembly. 

It noted that states such asAdamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Kebbi, Yobe, Kano and Zamfara” are yet to domesticate the Act in their respective states stressing that though a child rights act was recently passed by the Borno, Kebbi and Yobe State Houses of Assembly and are now awaiting signing into law by the respective State Governors. The statement further readsThis is a great achievement for children in Jigawa and we congratulate the Governor of Jigawa for signing into law the Child Protection Bill,” said Rushnan Murtaza, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Nigeria.

Speaking on access to education UNICEF said children inJigawa State continue to face numerous challenges including lack of access to formal education, adequate primary healthcare, good nutrition and protection from violence – especially girls and the situation becomes worse for children in street situation”. Hence encouraging the different arms of government in Jigawa and other states with child rights legislation todemonstrate their commitment to full implementation by taking ownership of the issue and ensuring children are safe and protected across the state.”  Adding thatThe domestication of the Child Protection Bill in Jigawa State will help safeguard the rights of children, including ensuring parents, caregivers and authorities across the spectrum fulfill their obligation to protect children, and prioritize access to health and education – especially for the girl-child – amongst several other demands that will enable children to grow and thrive on an equal footing,” said Rushnan Murtaza.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of Jigawa State, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu saidThe bill has been passed at a critical time when there is a rise in sexual abuse of children, child labor and child trafficking – all of which make children unsafe and subject them to trauma that can have a lifelong impact.






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