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Street children: Group urges C’River govt to implement Child Rights law

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Street children: Group urges C’River govt to implement Child Rights law


Centre for Social Studies and Development, an NGO has called on Cross River Government to implement the Child Rights law to curb increasing number of children on the streets.

Mr Ken Henshaw, Executive Director of the NGO, also known as ‘We the People’, made the appeal in a presentation during a seminar recently in Calabar.

Henshaw in the presentation titled, ”Left to Die: Forgotten Street Children of Calabar,” said that the protection which these frameworks offered for children have turned out to be practically ineffectual at best and non existent at worse in protecting them.

He lamented that in spite domesticating the Child Rights Act, the state government has turned a blind eye to the plight of street children.

“In Cross River, the degrading conditions children are exposed to remain unchecked.

”The phenomenon of street children continues because of the weakness or unwillingness of government to implement its own laws,” the NGO boss said.

He further said his team’s investigations indicated that street children were exposed to untold hardship, hunger, sexual exploitation, drug abuse, prostitution, health hazards and untimely deaths from ritualists.

The director said it was regrettable that government allowed the challenge to fester as the children now grow to hate the society and therefore constitute themselves into nuisances.

He noted that government approach had been punitive instead of rehabilitative.

According to him, the failure of government to implement the Child Rights law and punish offenders accordingly has contributed to increase in number of street children.

In her remarks, Mrs Dodeye Bassey, one of the four-man discussants who spoke on the way forward, said the problem could be tackled if government prioritised the welfare of street children.

Bassey said that if 20 per cent of the Child Rights law was implemented, the issue would gradually come to an end.

Also, Mrs Pamela Braides, member of the Civil Society Organisation in the state, called for the establishment of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) office in Calabar to checkmate issues of child abuse.

She also appealed to the state government to save the abandoned street children of Calabar.

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Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

George Odok: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Environment

137 Rangers worldwide die in 2020, says International Rangers’ President

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No fewer than 137 park Rangers lost their lives to wildlife attacks among several unfortunate homicide related cases, across seven regions of the world in the last 12 months, the International Federation (IRF), said on Tuesday.


Its President, Chris Galliers, made the disclosure at the 2020 World Ranger Day, celebrated annually on July 31.

Galliers’ speech was read by Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General, National Park Service, during a Zoom meeting in Abuja to commemorate the World Rangers Day in Abuja.

He said that the figures accounted for the highest number of Rangers deaths since the inception of the Roll of Honour in 2011.

Galliers said of the seven IRF regions, Asia had the greatest number of rangers’ killed at 66 deaths, representing 48 per cent of all ranger deaths.

According to him, Africa has the second highest number of Rangers’ deaths of 40, making up 30 per cent.

“We know that this number could be considerably higher, as not all ranger deaths are reported or publicised.

“The number is still unacceptably high, with 1,013 recorded ranger deaths over the past decade.

“This is of major concern. We, as the ranger family, share in the loss of our colleagues and their families, and look to honour them on the World Ranger Day for all that they had contributed to the profession and conservation.”

He said the main cause of deaths on duty for rangers was homicide, which accounted for 43 deaths, adding that these deaths mostly occurred in Africa and Asia.

“In addition, the environment in which rangers work can be hostile and dangerous, threatened by the very animals that they serve to protect.

“Wildlife attack accounted for the second highest cause of rangers fatalities, with 24 deaths.

“Other causes include accidents- 33 deaths; drownings- 14 deaths and illness/natural causes- 23 deaths.”

The IRF president said the the federation, at the World Ranger Congress, at  Nepal in November, 2019, set some ambitious actions to professionalise the sector and support those working on the frontline.

He said for the rangers around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had created new challenges and threats.

Galliers said that for the most part, rangers had been classified as essential services, allowing them to continue their invaluable works.

According to him, rangers need the support of the world, and to achieve this, regardless of COVID-19, or not, there is a need for empowered and well supported rangers, operating in a more secured work place, who will become ambassadors for the profession to inspire the next generation.

“We hope that the world takes a greater appreciation of the value of protected and conserved areas and the people who protect them, and realise having a minimum of 30 per cent of the earth protected by 2030 is a real necessity.

“On behalf of IRF and the Board, we thank all those that are taking the time to voice their support for rangers. Thanks too must go to all that are running programmes to keep rangers operational and effective through this difficult time.

“Finally, a thank you to the ranger families for their support and the sacrifices that they live with continuously.”

In his remarks, Mr Andre Dunn, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Nigeria Project, said the current COVID-19 pandemic had added to some of the challenges being faced by rangers.

Dunn, however, said it was commendable to note that ranger patrols by the Nigerian National Park Service had not once faltered during this turbulent period.

According to him, with the support from WCS, Rangers are a force for good in Nigeria.

Dunn: “Ranger teams in Yankari Game Reserve have not lost a single elephant to poaching since 2015.

“Dedicated ranger units in Cross River National Park have drastically reduced poaching of Cross River Gorillas, and there has been no record of Gorillas killed in Okwangwo since 2008.

“Only constant patrols by courageous rangers in Gashaka Gumti National Park has kept Nigeria’s largest wilderness area safe and secure, free from the scourge of Boko Haram.”

He, however, noted that Nigerian rangers needed automatic weapons, better training, improved remuneration and better working conditions.

Dunn added that the rangers also needed joint patrols with the army and improved recognition of the work they do to improve security for all Nigerians, not just for wildlife.

“Also, confidence that the poachers they risk their lives to arrest will be prosecuted according to the full force of the law, and would not be released to reoffend; zero tolerance for violence or threats of violence against rangers,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some rangers from the various national parks across the country shared their experiences, and called for provision of more sophisticated equipment and support for effective service delivery.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

 

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Foreign

IOM opens legal facility in Edo for victims of trafficking

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The International Office for Migration (IOM) Nigeria has opened a new facility in Edo to provide unhindered access to legal services to victims of trafficking in Nigeria.


The IOM made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to the IOM, the legal hub will provide free, prompt, timely and confidential legal aid to victims regardless of sex, age and gender.

The UN Migration agency stated that parallel to the opening of the pilot facility in Edo, it also conducted awareness raising sessions in Delta and Lagos states.

The IOM disclosed that two additional hubs will be established in Delta and Lagos States at the end of the year.

Ms Bertha Nguvulu, IOM Nigeria Counter Trafficking Project Officer said “Currently, prosecution of traffickers in Nigeria is focused primarily on criminal cases.

“The legal hubs will bring together all actors involved in criminal, as well as civil proceedings for victims of sexual and labour exploitation seeking legal redress in the country,” Nguvulu said.

The launch follows consultations with various legal actors in all three states such as the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Consultations were also made with the Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, as well as academia.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

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COVID-19

COVID-19: NGO donates protective equipment to hospitals in Kogi

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An NGO, Centre for Integrated Health Programmes (CIHP), has donated


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals across the 21 local government areas of Kogi as measures

against COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Akpa Patrick, the State Programme Director of CIHP, handed over

the PPEs to Dr Usman Zakari, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Kogi Hospitals Management Board (KHMB) in Lokoja.

According to him, CIHP is a United States-funded NGO, through the Centre for Disease Control Atlanta, which has been supporting

the provision of comprehensive high-quality, family focused services to patients, including adults and children.

Patrick said “we are currently in about four states in Nigeria, including Kogi.

“We have been on ground since 2007, supporting the state to cater for the treatment, care and support people living with

.”

He noted that the NGO had earlier donated PPEs such as overall wears, spraying machines to hospitals and isolation centres

in April, saying “this was the second tranche of the donation.

“We did the first donation in April and we are donating the second tranche today in our bid to prevent infections among

healthcare workers, especially those at the frontline in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is no more history, it has become a new normal with us and across the world.”

The CIHP programme director noted that aside supporting the primary, secondary and tertiary public healthcare facilities,

the NGO had also been supporting private and faith-based hospitals in Kogi.

He added that “we are hoping that as soon as these PPEs are exhausted, we will supply more to hospitals.”

The KHMB chief medical director commended the NGO for the gesture, saying ”everywhere in the world, healthcare

workers are those in the frontline in the fight against the deadly virus.”

He said CIHP had been supporting hospitals in Kogi with logistics, medical equipment and everything around ,

tuberculosis and sometimes malaria.

‘He added that CIHP brought many PPEs to hospitals in Kogi for frontline health workers; they have donated before, and they are donating again.

“The management of KHMB is receiving the equipment on behalf of the state government for onward distribution to hospitals across

the 21 local government areas.”

Items donated included hand gloves, N-95 respirators, surgical face masks, hand sanitisers, and sodium hypochloride used as disinfectants.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)

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Health

School feeding programme gulps over N500m during Lockdown – Minister

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The Federal Government expended about N523.3 million on school feeding programme during the lockdown against the coronavirus pandemic.


The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (MHADMSD), Sadiya Farouq, announced this at the Presidential Taskforce briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

Farouk made the revelation against the rumours and speculations going around one of our key interventions of the government – the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

She said that the programmed was modified and implemented in three states following a March 29th, Presidential directive.

“It is critical at this juncture to provide details that will help puncture the tissue of lies being peddled in the public space.

“The provision of ‘Take Home Rations’, under the modified Home Grown School Feeding programme, was not a sole initiative of the MHADMSD.

“The ministry, in obeying the Presidential directive, went into consultations with state governments through the state Governor’s Forum, following which it was resolved that ‘take-home rations’, remained the most viable option for feeding children during the lockdown.

“So, it was a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out take-home rations.

“The stakeholders also resolved that we would start with the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states, as pilot cases,’’ the minister said.

According to her, each takes home ration was valued at N4,200 and that the figure was arrived at with proper consultation.

The minister said that the figure generated from statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN)

“According to statistics from the NBS and CBN, a typical household in Nigeria has 5.6 to six members in its household, with three to four dependents.

“So, each household is assumed to have three children.

“Based on the original design of the Home Grown School Feeding programme, long before it was domiciled in the ministry, every child on the programme receives a meal a day.

“The meal costs N70 per child.

“When you take 20 school days per month, it means a child eats food worth N1,400 per month.

“Three children would then eat food worth N4,200 per month and that was how we arrived at the cost of the ‘take-home ration’.

“The agreement was that the federal government will provide the funding while the states will implement.

“To ensure transparency in the process, we partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) as technical partners.’’

She said that her ministry invited government agencies like the EFCC, CCB, ICPC, DSS and some NGOs to monitor the process.

“TrackaNG monitored and gave daily updates validating the programme.

“In the FCT, 29,609 households were impacted, 37,589 households in Lagos and 60,391 in Ogun, making a total of 124,589 households impacted between May 14, and July 6.

“If 124,589 households received take-home rations valued at N4,200, the amount will be N523,273,800.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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