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Lagos holds child protection workshop, promises to protect minors’ welfare

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Nigerian School Children

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) yesterday held a multi agency training for safeguarding and child protection officers with a view to ensuring that the rights of children in the state are upheld.

Attendees were drawn from various safeguarding sectors including social workers, guidance counselors, school administrators and founders, principals, the Nigerian Police and health workers from every field from District Six axis (Ikeja, Mushin, Oshodi and Isolo)

People in this field, often referred to as Child Protection Specialists (CPS) are usually the ones to make an urgent, first response to a child protection call and are the first to know when a child is suffering abuse or neglect.

One of the trainers, Mrs. Alonge took the audience on examining different forms of abuse and how to detect the signs as well as the relevant laws on child abuse. Sharing several heartbreaking cases of abuse that has been brought before them, she urged teachers to take special note of children in their classes as they tend to spend more time in school than at home. She also put them through steps they should take in gaining children’s confidence but warned school owners to be careful in employing child minders, as some of them might be pedophiles and molesters.

The audience was also taught ways to increase the capacity to prevent abuse as well as creating protective environments for children. They were warned on stigmatizing children or setting them up for target as this could have terrible, long-term effects on them. They were also taught on how to respond individually and as a team and places to go in cases of defilement and abuse.

Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, last December, ratified the first ever executive order on safeguarding and child protection program, which was drafted by the DSVRT. According to the head of the DSVRT, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, there would be six other rotational trainings and refresher courses for responder agencies to ensure that this order remains alive and Lagos children stay safe.


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