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Children’s Day: Lawmaker seeks protection of vulnerable children

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A member of Osun House of Assembly, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, has called on government at all levels to put in place measures that would restore and protect the dignity of vulnerable children in the country.

Oyintiloye (APC-Obokun) made the call on Sunday in Osogbo in a statement to commemorate 2019 Children’s  Day celebration.

The lawmaker said that May 27, which is the day, set aside every year to celebrate children, was not only special but should be used to celebrate them and reflect on their vulnerability.

Oyintiloye also called for the domestication of the Child Act Law, which he said would further protect the rights of vulnerable children, especially in their exclusive right to education as enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to him, Articles 13 & 14 of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Right in UNESCO’s convention is against discrimination in education.

He said the Convention on the Right of the Child adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989 and ratified by 192 countries including Nigeria should also be domesticated.

The lawmaker further called for stiffer penalties against those he described as ‘predators’ who indulge in abuse of children in all forms.

Accoording to him, the statistics of UNICEF, which indicates 10.5million Nigerian children are out of school, is not only upsetting, but calls for urgent action by parents, government as well as non-governmental organisations.

While reiterating his commitment to the protection of the rights of the child in his capacity as lawmaker and stakeholder in the Nigerian project, Oyintiloye urged government of all levels and well-meaning Nigerians to do more in taking care of the needs of vulnerable children.

“I hereby wish children all over the globe happy celebration,” the lawmaker said.

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Association calls on Edo govt. to protect lives of women, children

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The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Edo branch has called on the Federal Government and relevant security agencies to protect the lives of women and children in the state.

Dr Adesuwa Urhoghide-Edigin, the President of MWAN made the call during a press conference on Wednesday in Benin.

“MWAN calls on the government and all relevant security agencies to ensure justice is carried out for Vera Omozuwa, who was attacked and raped on May 27.

“We stand in solidarity with the family of the deceased in fighting for justice. We thank the Edo government for the prompt intervention as we await the result of the inquiry.

“We call on government at all levels to partner with forensic scientists and pathologists to create a national DNA database of convicted criminal and place CCTV cameras in public places,’” she said.

The association president urged parents to put in more effort in training the boy-child to know that “violence and rape are unacceptable in the society’’.

“The worst pain you can inflict on a girl-child or a woman is rape. It’s five minutes for the perpetrator but life time for victim.

MWAN Edo as doctors, mothers, women, girls and females say no to rape. Save-a-girl child; save-a-woman and save-the world: No consent to rape”, Urhoghide-Edigin said.

She advised ladies not to stay on lonely places at odd times.

Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin, died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Health

Monitor your children to curb drugs addiction, NGO pleads

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An NGO, Adicare Rehabilitation Home, has advised parents and guardians to monitor their children and wards to prevent avoid being influenced to drug abuse and addiction by negative peers.

The NGO’s Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Veronica Ezeh, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos that parents, guardians and alike must take up the responsibility of mentoring their children and youths in the right way.

Ezeh said to check the acts of suicide, arson, violent crimes and violence against women in form of rape, there should be concerted efforts to stop youths from using hard drugs or becoming drug addict.

She is a Psychiatric Nurse at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.

Ezeh decried the high rate of drugs abuse among youths, urging parents and alike to join hands with the organisations in the campaign against illicit drug use.

She said the NGO on Feb. 26, concluded the first-phase of its sensitisation and education programme on the dangers of youth involvement in drug abuse.

Ezeh said the NGO was planning to kick-off the second-phase of the programme as soon as the pressure of COVID-19 calms down and the economy normalised.

She added that the sensitisation programme targeted youths, particularly the secondary school students within the age bracket of 13 to 19 years.

The psychiatrist said investigations revealed that most mental destitute on the streets were caused by abuse of drugs, which she said that youths were more vulnerable.

According to her, drug abuse is a habit done in secret, and the only way it can be identified in children is at the primary or secondary school levels.

Ezeh, therefore, advised parents and guardians to monitor the company, their children and wards.

She said that they should keep to know when they were getting involved in drugs, and thereby prevent them from going astray.

“I always say that parents should be able to monitor their children closely, because drug abuse is a secret habit which may be difficult to identify.

“But if a parent is close or friendly with his/her child, having established good relationship with the child, such parent will be able to know when the child is going astray or getting involved in illicit drugs.

“The moment a child starts school (either primary or secondary), try and keep a watch on him or her and monitor their daily activities.

“If they have phone, try to know their contacts and the kind of conversations they keep with their friends, and if possible, try to know their friends in person, including the families of their friends,” she cautioned.

According to her, majority of youths/students who get involved in drug abuse do not know the implications of what they are doing, rather, they take it because their friends or peers were taking.

Ezeh noted that parents were the firstline of people to educate the young ones on the dangers of drug abuse, mentor them and guide them right to grow and become responsible citizens, not drug addicts.

“It is on record that the use of hard drugs is the number one cause of mental illness, suicide, arson, violent crimes as well as violence against women worldwide.


Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Anniversary: Zamfara Govt constructs 14 hospitals for women/children 

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The Zamfara State Government on Tuesday said that it had built modern hospitals  for women and children at the headquarters of each of its 14 local government areas of the state within its one year in office.

 

The State Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Yahaya Kanoma, disclosed this to newsmen in Gusau.

 

Kanoma said that the facilities were part of the state government’s commitments under Gov. Bello Matawalle-led  administration.

 

He said Matawalle immediately after his inauguration came up with policies that would  improve the healthcare of the citizens of the state.

 

“Part of the policies is the establishment of modern hospitals for women and children at  the headquarters of each of the 14 local government areas of the state.

 

“We have completed all the hospitals, we have bought  medical equipment, and we were only delayed in the distribution of the equipment to the hospitals due to the  COVID-19 pandemic challenges.

 

According to him, part of the achievements recorded during the one year in office of the governor’s administration is the re-awarding of the contract for the renovation of Shinkafi Referral Hospital that had been abandoned several years ago  by the previous administrations.

 

“Other achievements recorded by the state government by  the Ministry of Health from May 29, 2019 to date include the revival of  the various MDAs and programmes to promote healthcare delivery.

 

“We secured  the release of N400 million from the state government for MDAs under the state Ministry of Health to run their affairs.

 

“The following amounts were received by each of the  beneficiaries:  N100 million for State Drugs Management Agency, N100 million for Health Contributory Agency, N100 million for Primary Health Care Development Agency and N100 million for Hospital Service Management Board,” he said.

 

He also said  that the state government bought ambulances and utility vehicles for hospitals and health offices and programmes.

 

After discovering 84 ghost medical doctors and 64 nurses from the state government’s payroll, Gov. Bello Matawalle gave approval for the recruitment of more medical doctors and nurses for secondary and tertiary health institutions in the state.

 

The commissioner, however, lauded the efforts of the state government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

 

He also appreciated the support and cooperation from traditional and religious leaders in the fight against COVID-19 in the state.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Archbishop wants children to be law abiding law

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Archbishop Alexander Ibezim of the Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka Diocese, Anglican Communion, has called on children to be law abiding citizens  for the development of the society.

 

Ibezim made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Awka.

 

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had limited the children from having their usual programmes in schools and social activities.

 

The cleric, however, urged children to always keep the law of the land no matter the situation.

 

He said that children should be well-monitored  by their parents, to prevent them from getting involved in criminal activities.

 

Ibezim advised parents and guardians to draw life-giving programmes for their children and wards at all times.

 

He said embracing such habits would make them become good and responsible citizens in the society.

 

He said that parents and guardians must inculcate the value of self-worth in their children and wards, to enable them know and be able to differentiate  what is either  wrong or right.

 

The clergyman advised parents to give proper attention to the social development of their children, urging governments at all levels to ensure that children of good characters were raised.

 

Ibezim called for collaboration by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), civil society groups, community and faith-based organisations, to ensure the rearing of responsible children in the country.

 

He urged human rights groups to continue to clamour against child trafficking and other forms of abuses now on the increase in the society.

 

The cleric attributed the high incidence of sexual exploitation of young girls by adults and trafficking of children for sex and labour to poor parenting.

 

Ibezim warned young girls, particularly those who had been admitted into the Girls’ Guild in the Anglican Communion, to desist from all forms of sexual immorality, fornication and prostitution.

 

He urged them to accept Jesus Christ and allow  the Holy Spirit to dwell in their lives.

 

Ibezim said that the 2020 Children’s Day and Anglican Children Ministry (ACM) Sunday,  held on May 31, was to remind children of their place in God’s Kingdom and the need for good parenting.

 

The theme of the 2020 Children’s Day was:“Promoting Girl-Child Education for Sustainable Development”.

 

According to him, the theme of the celebration shows that the church is serious on good parenting, especially,  of a girl-child.

 

“ The proper training of a girl-child is very important in our Communion because of the responsibility the girls are saddled with as mothers  in future.

 

“We hope our young girls are well-groomed, to train the society,” he said.

 

The archbishop advised parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards make the good use of the information and communication technology (ICT) devices in their possession.

 

“Mobile phones should be used for good intelligence and not evil scheming.”

 

 


Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Children play at Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciencia Viva Centre in Lisbon

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Children play at the Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciencia Viva Centre, a scientific and technological space, in Lisbon, Portugal on June 1, 2020, the International Children’s Day. (Photo by Pedro Fiuza/Xinhua)

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Spotlight: As restrictions ease further, Europeans mark Children’s Day with messages of hope

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European countries took another step to normalcy on Monday with a further easing of anti-coronavirus restrictions, as part of the continent celebrated the International Children’s Day with public figures sending messages of consolation and hope for better days ahead.

In a phased approach, lockdown measures have been lifted cautiously by European governments, with a new phase of easing often coming on Mondays. Across Europe, businesses are reopening and many children are back in school.

An online dashboard, maintained by the WHO European Region, showed that 2.16 million confirmed COVID-19 cases had been reported in 54 countries, with 180,650 deaths as of 10:00 a.m. CET (0800 GMT) on Monday.

ANOTHER STEP TO NORMALCY

Starting on Monday, more than 10 European countries further eased their coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Romania, Cyprus, Greece, Finland and Albania.

In the Belgian capital of Brussels, the iconic Atomium building reopened its doors to the public, after having been closed since March 14 when Belgium imposed a nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Built on the occasion of the 1958 Universal Exhibition and representing the conventional iron crystal mesh magnified 165 billion times, the Atomium is on the verge of bankruptcy, with an estimated loss of 3 million euros (3.3 million United States dollars) due to the lockdown measures.

Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said the Atomium’s reopening marked the return of some degree of freedom. Even if masks and social distance were necessary, she noted, this “should not keep us from enjoying the culture,” Brussels Times reported in an online story.

Also on Monday, the Netherlands reopened restaurants, cafes, theaters, concert halls, museums and cinemas after two and a half months.

“We are taking the second step in easing the anti-coronavirus measures today,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Twitter. “Only if everyone adheres to the measures can we take a step forward.”

Greece also took another step to normalcy with the reopening of primary schools and kindergartens, open-air cinemas, hotels and swimming pools among other businesses which had closed since March.

In Italy, lovers of archeology and antiquity were rewarded by the reopening of the Colosseum Archeological Park and its monuments — which include the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the remains of the Emperor Nero’s Palace, the Domus Aurea — all of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage list as sites of “incomparable artistic value.”

HOPE FOR CHILDREN

June 1 is the International Children’s Day in more than 10 European countries, including Romania, Portugal, Albania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, and Serbia.

In Romania, this year Children’s Day has become a big day for people of all ages, since it’s the first day that most of the anti-virus measures were lifted.

When the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History opened at 11 a.m., there was already a long queue at the gate. Zoos and parks in Romania were also favorite choices for children. In parks, children can be seen happily playing with rollers and skateboards.

In Portugal, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visited the Sagrada Familia Social Complex, where he met children from daycare centers and schools in the metropolitan region of Lisbon.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa published a message on his social media as the country entered the third phase of de-confinement.

“On the day that we celebrate another Children’s Day, we return to socializing in pre-school establishments. Fifteen days ago, we reopened the daycare centers, demonstrating that … we could have our children in these establishments again,” wrote Costa in his tweet.

The Polish government and organizations helped the children celebrate the International Children’s Day with various online activities. The authorities organized a number of online readings for children, including Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki who read a Polish children’s poem for kids.

In Albania, authorities lifted restrictions for citizens to visit parks and playgrounds. The Children’s Day was celebrated with fun activities dedicated to children at the newly reconstructed “Rinia” park in the center of the capital.

Children accompanied by their parents enjoyed the new playgrounds, toys, the concerts with songs and dances, sports games, circus and other fun activities organized by Tirana Municipality.

Albanian President Ilir Meta paid a visit to an orphanage in Tirana, where he donated books and drawing notebooks to the children.

Meta commended New beginnings orphanage for helping some 200 abandoned children, orphans or children from families with major social or financial problems, for 25 years.

“Your mission throughout these years has been to help, support and invest in the children with major social problems, and have them educated and get them out of…poverty, preparing them for the challenges of the future,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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Albania celebrates Int’l Children’s Day

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International Children’s Day was celebrated on Monday with fun activities dedicated to children at the newly reconstructed “Rinia” park in the centre of the Albanian capital.

Children accompanied by their parents enjoyed the new playgrounds, toys, the concerts with songs and dances, sports games, circus and other fun activities organized by Tirana Municipality.

On Monday, health authorities lifted restrictions for citizens to visit parks and playgrounds. President Ilir Meta paid a visit to an orphanage in Tirana, where he donated books and drawing notebooks to the children.

Meta stated that on this day all children, especially those without parental care and those belonging to families in economic difficulties need more love, support, understanding, health care, free education, and protection from all forms of exploitation.

The president commended New beginnings orphanage for helping some 200 abandoned children, orphans or children from families with major social or financial problems, for 25 years.

“Your mission throughout these years has been to help, support and invest in the children with major social problems, and have them educated and get them out of…poverty, preparing them for the challenges of the future,” Meta said.

On Monday via a Facebook message, Minister of Education, Sport and Youth Besa Shahini said that children have the right to live a healthy and safe life without violence or discrimination, and to receive a good education, and underlined that adults and state institutions have “the obligation to ensure these rights.”

International Children’s Day this year was also very unusual because activities dedicated to children were limited due to the coronavirus situation.

On Monday children across the country were allowed to return to kindergartens and nurseries as the government has authorized them to resume activities under strict hygiene and protective protocol.

Kindergartens and nurseries will be open throughout the summer and will give priority to children with working parents.

For more than two and a half months, all public and private kindergartens and nurseries in Albania had been closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

(XINHUA)

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Int’l Children’s Day celebrated in Czech Republic under restrictions

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Children in the Czech Republic celebrate the International Children’s Day on Monday as the country’s final lockdown measures were lifted on May 25, although some restrictions are still in place, local media reported.

Mass events over 300 people are banned and admissions to zoos, entertainment centers, cinemas as well as castles and chateaux are still limited. Some youth centers have prepared programs over the weekend. Other cultural centers are hosting families at reduced capacity. The National Museum in Prague offers free admission.

However, some cultural events were postponed due to the COVID-19 control measures. The International Film Festival for Children and Youth, which was originally scheduled for May 29 to June 6, 2020 in Zlin, has been postponed till September.

The Ministry of Health announced two weeks ago that pending the epidemiological situation in the country, the capacity for events could be raised to 500 people by June 8 and 1,000 by June 22.

According to statistics, over 2 million children under the age of 18 live in the Czech Republic, among them almost 800,000 are under the age of six.

(XINHUA)

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Portugal celebrates Children’s Day with messages of hope

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The International Children’s Day is being celebrated in Portugal, with authorities paying homage and public figures sending messages of consolation, joy and hope for better days ahead.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visited the Sagrada Familia Social Complex, where he met children from daycare centers and schools in the metropolitan region of Lisbon.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa published a message on his social media as the country entered the third phase of de-confinement.

“On the day that we celebrate another Children’s Day, we return to socializing in pre-school establishments. Fifteen days ago, we reopened the daycare centers, demonstrating that, with confidence and following the guidelines of the Directorate-General for Health, we could have our children in these establishments again,” wrote Costa in his tweet.

Minister of Education Tiago Brandao Rodrigues visited a basic school in the southern city of Almada to symbolize the return to activities of educational institutions after more than two months of social isolation due to the pandemic.

“Today, on a special day of the International Children’s Day, we are also sure that children can be children, but, on the other hand, we need to care for,” he told reporters.

Portuguese singer Lura released a song with the name of her daughter, Nina Santiago, recording a special video clip with the girl.

“On this Children’s Day, with this song, I want to celebrate Unconditional Love. Love grows like a plant that is watered and cared for every day. I want to celebrate this source of inspiration, joy and motivation that is my Nina and that are all children in the world,” said the singer.

In addition, Portugal had a special program aimed at children, with free admission to museums, art shows and cultural activities — all with appropriate health security measures.

(XINHUA)

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