By Chris Chimezie
Ondo State Government has expressed its readiness to launch the Violence Against Children (VAC) logo and campaign, aimed at waging war against violence on children, in line with the Federal Government action plan.
This was made known through the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet, while briefing Government House Reporters shortly after the State Executive Council meeting held at the Governor’s office in Akure.
The Commissioner stated that a trust fund will also be established for that purpose.
According to her, cases of violence and abuse against children in the state were not well reported, perhaps due to fear of stigmatization.
“This is the reason why the VAC wants to address this, to protect families and children that are involved.
“We want to assure the children are there for them. Government is up and doing in its efforts to getting the children off the streets, because it’s an abuse for a child to hawk in the street or do menial jobs to keep the family going, when he is supposed to be in the classroom.
“Government has a duty to advocate and sensitise. We will not overemphasize on this. We will involve families to let the children understand their rights because the law is there and the enforcement of the law is key to us”, she said.
She disclosed that social workers will visit the schools with a view to intimating the children with the provisions of the law that protects them whenever they are faced with any or different forms of abuses and the need for them to speak out.
The Commissioner hinted that parents too are involved in the fight, saying if their are collaborations between the families and the school authorities, it would be easier for government to wade in.
“Government can not work in isolation. It can only thrive through these organs. We need them to keep us informed adequately for prompt action.
“Of a truth, we are trying to encourage children and parents to speak out, notify the government to enable it swing into action”, she stated.
While corroborating her, the state commissioner for information and Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi said an inter-ministarial committee will be constituted to ensure the workings of the plan.