The Child Protection Network, CPN, Lagos State, has revealed its plans to reach enlighten at least 30,000 families on child protection mechanisms during its maiden annual week coming up during Universal Children’s Day celebration on November 20.
The CPN Lagos State Coordinator, Aderonke Oyelakin made known this plan known to journalists at their quarterly meeting held on Tuesday at the Youth hall wing of Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju.
According to her, the 30,000 target is to make families aware of their responsibility to protect the children.
“Lagos has zero tolerance to child abuse and other gender based violence, yet the daily occurrence of abuse is becoming alarming. I believe we must not rest on our oars. Now is the best time for continuous aggressive awareness to prevent the regular occurrence in the interest of the child. As organisation that works closely with the children in communities, awareness is the best option to further reduce the menace in our communities”.
Oyelakin also shed light on the purpose of the network quarterly meeting which she said was an opportunity to bring all the knowledge and wisdom of members together for them to see how best they can protect children and their rights from being abused in Lagos state.
“Only NGOs that registered with Child Protection Network and also offer service to children that are called for this meeting. Its an avenue to look at our challenges and channel the way forward and also network. It also shows that we are coordinated and qualified to work with children because we already have a working structure on ground”. She added.
Evans Enwefah, CPN Lagos Data Officer, highlights recent achievements of the organisation where 40 rescue officers were trained in the 20 local governments areas of the state.
He explained that two officers in each LGA would be able to collate data of rescue activities on a daily basis on issues of abuse and also document reported cases which they send to Lagos State government, UNICEF and British Council.
Evans said, “If we are carrying out child protection activities in different communities at the LG level and they are not documented and reported, it is as good as nothing happened and the state also will not be sure of the cases.
“With these training of rescue officers, we are going to see improvement on reporting of cases and services being rendered to children. They are on ground to make sure the interest of the child is protected and also to be sure that the perpetrators are not just left alone but identified, shamed and persecuted. All we are after is the interest of the children.
“When people in the community know they have watchdogs in the community, there is going to be a reduction in gender related violence. We are now going to see a well- documented cases because the era of muddling up cases is gone”.