Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

From TCNEWS

Child Protection Network, CPN a consortium of non-governmental organizations and government agencies, operating in cooperation with UNICEF’s vision to safeguard the rights and well-being of children, has called for the establishment of a dedicated Child Protection Units and desks within every police formation and station.

CPN Abia State Coordinator, Amb. Onyinyechi Joy Nwosu, who stated this when the body paid a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of Police, Abia State Command, CP Kenechukwu Onwuemelie at the Command Headquarters, Umuahia, also requested that the officers assigned to the units, be trained by CPN, to handle cases and create data desk for all cases involving minors, and ensuring comprehensive data collection and sharing with CPN.

CPN also recommended that all individuals involved in child abductions and trafficking should be arrested and prosecuted, including those previously released under suspicious circumstances.

Other recommendations made by the Network include: Designation of a Focal Person for child protection to regularly attend CPN meetings; Resource Allocation and Technological Support; Allocate sufficient resources to child protection units and invest in technology for better case management, reporting, and tracking of child abuse incidences.

However, Abia CPN sadly observed the continued unwillingness of some officers of the Police to collaborate with the Network, decrying that this has created a void exploited by perpetrators who evade justice through collusion with corrupt law enforcement agents.

Nwosu also observed that the perceived long-existing gap between the police and CPN was caused by several factors which include; unwillingness to enforce the Law, with the recent case of defilement against Ogechukwu Ago Ekeledo of Amafor, Isingwu village in Umuahia North L.G.A, as reference among others; lack of awareness and adequate training; bribery and corruption; difficulty in accessing medical checks and reports for rape and defilement victims due to the “no payment, no check/no report” policy at police clinics; and child-related cases being handled indiscriminately by different police units, leading to further violation of victim’s rights, poor documentation, and data.

Nwosu who appreciated the strides recorded by the Commissioner of Police, CP Kenechukwu Onwuemelie’s strides since he assumed office as the Commissioner, pointed out that the testimonies of his uprightness and dedication to duty from colleagues in other states gave Abia CPN hope for a stronger collaboration with the police during his tenure.

She believed that by addressing the issues and implementing the suggested solutions proffered by the CPN, the NPF Abia command would significantly improve its efforts in protecting children and combating child abuse

While maintaining that the role of the Nigerian Police in child protection and welfare is crucial and multifaceted, Nwosu assured that Abia, state chapter of the network, would remain committed to preventing and responding to child abuse cases across Abia with support from all relevant stakeholders.

Responding, the Commissioner of Police, CP Kenechukwu Onwuemelie, who received the CPN in company of his management team, assured that the police would actively participate in the proposed initiatives and work diligently to enhance the protection of children in Abia State.

By NWAMARA

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