By Dauda Iliya
The United Nations Children Education Fund UNICEF has commended Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum for signing the Borno State Child Protection Bill into law.
In a statement by UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Mr. Peter Hawkins says the development is a victory for the children of Borno.
The statement explains that the law which was signed on Monday by Governor Zulum, brings to an end years of efforts to provide a legal framework that recognises the rights of children in the state to education, health and protection from all forms of abuse.
According to Mr. Hawkings, Borno State has remained the epicentre of protracted armed conflict for more than 12 years, with over three hundred and thirty thousand children are out of school.
“For too long, children in Borno State have suffered the consequences of protracted conflict. Children have died or been maimed from unexploded devices, been kidnapped and recruited and used by armed groups. Girls have been especially impacted, including by sexual abuse and violence” Hawkins said.
Mr. peter Hawkins also says the Borno State Child Protection Law will offer children the hope that things can change and perpetrators held accountable.
UNICEF then calls on other states in the north-east and indeed across the country to expedite action to domesticate and implement the Federal Child Rights Act.
With the Child Protection Bill signed into law, Borno becomes the 29th state in Nigeria to domesticate the Child Rights Act enacted by the Federal Government in 2003.
Just seven states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kebbi, Yobe, Kano and Zamfara States have yet to domesticate the Act.