The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency has organized this year’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Day with the theme – ” MY BODY BELONGS TO ME” with 400 students drawn from public and private schools in Lagos on the 23rd September 2023 at the Ndubuisi Park in Ikeja was supported by the Joint EU UN funded Spotlight Initiative, with technical support from UNFPA.
Secretary to State Government (SSG )and “Mother of the Day” BAR. Mrs. Abimbola Salu-Hundeyin while delivering her speech said the Lagos State Government aims to create ‘Child safe’ environments, where children are respected, protected, empowered and participate in their protection, whilst ensuring all staff are skilled, confident, competent, and well supported in meeting their protection responsibilities as engraved under the THEMES Plus (+) development agenda” the SSG said.
According to the SSG, “The children and youths are not just the future of Lagos State and Nigeria, they are major stakeholders and useful resources in nation building and they must be fully protected by their parents, guardians and the Government for them to fulfill that goal”
She said growing concerns about abused children that often result in mental issues and suicidal thoughts among others now require that parents must all be on guard, stressing that research according to statistics carried out by State in partnership with other relevant Agencies showed that 1 out of every 6 children is abused at tender ages, programs like this will help in the quest to fight the growing trend of Rape Culture in primary and secondary schools in Lagos State.
Salu-Hundeyin called on parents, guardians, and teachers to foster stronger and closer ties with their children and wards to enable them to open up when issues of abuse arise.
The Executive Secretary Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi welcomed the Secretary to the State Government the Mother of the Day Bar. Mrs. Abimbola Salu-Hundeyin averred that the Agency was engaging all arms of government and sectors in the bid to rid the State of all forms of sexual violence and abuse and maintained that it was critical for a collective fight in the quest to end SGBV.
She said the Agency in partnership with all relevant organizations will continue to engage, inform, and encourage the youths on their rights and the need to jealously protect their rights at all times and in all places.
Executive Secretary further elucidated that under the Child’s Rights Law of Lagos State, a Child has the right to Life, survival, and balanced development; a name and registration at birth; dignity and respect; privacy, family life and parental care and protection.
The Nation’s Child Rights Laws also state that every child is entitled to the best attainable state of physical, mental, and spiritual health including the right to dignity and freedom from discrimination and abuse.
“As we celebrate Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, please do not hurt in silence nor be ashamed to speak up, call our Toll free line at 08000-333-333. Your needed help is just a call away” Vivour-Adeniyi urged.
Prof. Funmi Bameke of the Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos in her delivery relayed to the students what they must know about SGBV. While Mr. Jubril Yakubu of the Ministry of Youth and Social Welfare and Mrs. Bose Ironsi
Women’s Rights and Health Project gave goodwill messages.
Other highlights were the distribution of the Child Protection and STRAC book to each student.
There were Art presentations from different schools and dance performances. With these outstanding presentations by the students, prizes and certificates were awarded to
Government Senior College, Agege in 1st place, Honeyland College, Magodo came 2nd place,ce and in
3rd Place, Sango Junior Secondary.
Additionally, certificates of participation were provided to the other schools.
Fanmilk was also at the event to refresh the Students.
22nd September, 2023