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Rape: Coalition decries non-domestication of Child Rights Act in Gombe

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Rape: Coalition decries non-domestication of Child Rights Act in Gombe

Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Better Life for Girls for the passage of Child Rights Act (CRA) in Gombe state has decried the non-domestication of the Act to address increasing rape cases in the state.

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Hajia Zariyatu Abubakar, Coordinator of the Coalition in a press briefing on Thursday in Gombe said absence of the law had contributed to the increase in rape cases in the state.

Abubakar said that efforts towards the passage of the bill in the state, which cut across various stakeholders, had spanned over 10 years with series of activities without the desired result.

She said that since Nigeria adopted the CRA to domesticate the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2003, only 25 states had domesticated the Act in their respective states.

According to her, Gombe state is amongst the 10 remaining states yet to domesticate the CRA which would aid the prosecution of perpetrators of rape and other violent acts against children.

She said that efforts were already being made by the present administration of Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state as well as the State House of Assembly to achieve the goal.

“ With the several engagements by CSOs and the government, the state government has produced a draft that was forwarded to the state House of Assembly as an Executive Bill by Gov. Inuwa Yahaya.

“Today, that singular act by the governor, necessitated the House to pass the bill through first and second reading; this is commendable,’’ she said.

Abubakar called on the police command and other security agencies in the state to fast-track the prosecution of child-related abuse offenders in the state.

She said such would help curtail the increasing menace of rape which she said was becoming “embarrassing’’ in view of the statistics of reported cases in the state.

The Interim Manager of Towards Ending Child Marriage (TECM) project of Save the Children International (SCI), Mr Akpan Effiong, commended the efforts of Gov. Yahaya, adding that the present administration has goodwill towards the bill.
Effiong said that within three months, the state government in collaboration with other stakeholders was able to draft the bill, send it as an executive bill which scaled through first and second reading.

“This to me shows that the present administration has political will to protect the rights of children. This has renewed our hopes that soon, there will be light at the end of the tunnel,’’ he said.

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