A senior Legal Officer with the National Human Rights Commission, Ms Yahcit Dala, said on Wednesday absence of social protection mechanism had hampered enforcement of the Child Rights in Nigeria.
Dala said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She said 24 states, including the FCT, out of the 36 states in the country had passed the Child Rights Law but the issue of implementation still remained a challenge.
“Twenty-four states out of the 36 have passed the Child Rights Laws but the issue of implementation is still a challenge; we have passed the law on paper but the practical aspect of it is still hanging.
“You find wonderful provisions for children like the provision for family courts and protecting mechanisms for children which are all provided for in the Child Rights Law.”
“A lot of people cannot make ends meet and they go into all sorts of things and the impact of such actions will be violation of human rights.
“ From our investigations, we realised that because of the economic situation in the country parents cannot make ends meet and the social protection mechanism is non-existent as well, where parents have some assistance in taking care of their families.
“We realised from our interaction with parents, they do not even understand the need to protect children, that children are human beings that need to express themselves.
“The challenge is the lack of practical expression to child rights and the political will to come up with policies that address children’s issues.
The official, however, said there was a need to sensitise parents and guardians on the importance of protecting children from any form of abuse in line with the provisions of the law.
She expressed the commission’s commitment to work with civil society organisations towards the promotion of human rights in the country.
NAN reports that a series of events were organised by the NHRC in partnership with the embassies of France, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands to mark the 2013 Human Rights Day.
Others were the Canadian High Commission, the French Institute and the European Union Commission.
The 2013 Human Rights Day was also used to mark the 20 years of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The UN theme for the Human Rights Day was “2013: 20 Years Working for your Rights”. (NAN)