Experts seek protection of children, end to discrimination against left-handers
A Child expert and founder of Flourish Initiative and Advocacy for the Less-Privilege, Florence Adewale, has urged an end to discrimination against left-handers in Nigeria.
Adewale, who spoke during the celebration of the International Day of the African Child, said pastors, imams and teachers had considered left-handers, also known as Southpaw, as signs of bad luck and curse, as deacons would accost anyone who drops offering with the left hand in churches.
The event was organised by Child Protection Network (CPN), Lagos, in collaboration with British Council and European Union (EU).
Florence said that many, whose hands were switched due to parental/societal pressure, are doing poorly academically, as the right of every child needs to be protected.
She, therefore, urged the government and civil society organisations to help campaign against discrimination in society.
“I was once a teacher and I saw the side effect of switching among my pupils, who were forced by their parents due to pressure. I remember some for whom I had to advocate on their behalf by convincing and educating their parents using myself as a children’s teacher as an example.
“I remember being accosted by pastors, deacons and members in churches for dropping offerings into the offering box with my left hand! Well, I do simply and politely tell them that left-handers are a blessing from God and I am proud to be a left-hander,” she said.
MEANWHILE, Lagos State Co-ordinator, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (RoLAC), Mrs. Ajibola Ijimakinwa, has said Nigerian children still experience harmful practices.
She stressed that CPN’s goal remains the protection and assistance of children who are at risk and victims of harmful practices.
“We call on all relevant stakeholders who are working in the area of children’s rights to reinforce their efforts in addressing the obstacles related to harmful practices affecting children,” she said.