Human Rights Lawyer and the Assistant Chief Legal Officer of the National Human Rights Commission, Jos, Barr. Kachollom Tachio has blamed the increasing cases of violations on the rights of children in rural communities to the lack of proper reporting and referral pathways to report children rights violations to the Commission.
Speaking with our reporter in an exclusive interview in her office recently, Barr. Kachollom said despite the advocacy, sensitisation and awareness visits embarked on by the Commission to some of these rural communities on the Plateau and relevant authorities, the war against children rights violation is still yet to be won.
“Here at the Commission, we have handled cases of child rights violations ranging from witchcraft branding, child betrothal, rape, child abandonment and their likes but most of the cases involving child betrothal happened in Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna States but the victims fled to Jos for refuge where their cases were discovered and reported to the Commission, Barr. Kachollom said.
While explaining that some of the Commission’s challenges are borne out of non cooperation of some religious bodies who view the Child Rights Act as contravening their cultural and religious beliefs, Barr. Kachollom said Plateau state has however recorded tremendous successes in the fight against child rights violations since the State domesticated the Child Rights Act in 2007.
“When it comes to domesticating the Child Rights Act across all Nigeria, we have the challenge of religious perspectives in some of the northern states. They believe that the Child Rights Act goes against their religious views so they feel that domesticating it will go against their religious or cultural practices which they have had for so many decades. For now, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Bauchi, Borno, Zamfara, Yobe, Gombe and Adamawa are the states who are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act. We are hopeful that a time will come when they will see the need to domesticate it so that the rights of the child will be protected,” Barr. Kachollom said.
She attributed the successes recorded by the Commission in Plateau State to the support received from the Plateau State Assembly, NGOs, CSOs, the citizens and other relevant bodies who are partnering with the Commission to ensure that the Rights of the Plateau Child are protected in line with the provisions of the Child Rights Act.
Barr. Kachollom also lauded the setting up of the Plateau Family Court headed by Justice Christine Dabup saying, it will go a long way in not only ensuring that cases brought before the court are heard but will also boost the confidence of the people to report child abuse cases because they are sure that justice will prevail and perpetrators punished for their acts.
She appealed to the public to help the Commission succeed in its mandate of safeguarding the future of the Nigerian child by reporting cases of child violations to the Commission which are handled without any fee charged and appreciated the collaborative efforts between the Commission and the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ Plateau State Chapter, UNICEF and the Nigeria Police, Plateau State in ensuring that child right violations are given swift attention.