Women Development & Child’s Rights
Child trafficking and labour is a prevalent issue in Ibadan, Oyo State. Common forms which include child begging, street hawking, house help, and street children are seen on a daily basis at different locations in Ibadan, which cut across the eleven Local Government Areas like Bodija, Oja’Oba, Gbagi, Cultural Centre, Sanmonbola in Mokola, Agbaje, Ayeye, and Odo-Olodo.
The prevalence derives from the background that child trafficking and labour in Ibadan is generally not perceived as an illegal and immoral act. Children (especially of the less privileged) are moved from their primary places of abode to be exploited by the elites and the rich who turn them into human machines, not minding their age.
These children are usually between 9 and 14 years because at this age, they are perceived to be more submissive and easily subject themselves to authority. In many cases, the children are given out by their parents/supposed care-givers because of financial difficulties. When moved to places where they are exploited, they are often denied formal education. Family separation, poverty and lack of parental care are also strong factors causing many children to run into the streets to fend for themselves. They normally drop out of school and become vulnerable to be exploited in labour to the detriment of their development.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is being practised in the target areas mostly as a result of people’s attachment to old traditions and customs. Many traditions and customs that are actually harmful are still held sacred by the people. Also, there are difficulties in stopping the circumcisers from FGM activities, as to them, it is not only a tradition but also their source of income and livelihood. FGM is a violent act against women and female children and it denotes deep-rooted inequality between the sexes.
The Women Development Child Rights Programme is concerned with promotion of the welfare of children and women especially the most vulnerable among them in our immediate environments. The Programme upholds the rights of children and women against violations of persons’ rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life.
Our objective is to;
- To protect the best interest and well being of the children in all actions concerning them
- To promote the human rights of women and girls against any form of discrimination in the target areas of the Programme
- Facilitate the enforcement of the child rights acts for reduction of the incidence of child trafficking/labour in our immediate environment and sensitize the public on the adverse effects of these practices using the media, street rallies and enlightenment workshops.
- Create public enlightenment on the dangers of FGM and facilitate opportunities and access to expert counselling for FGM victims.
- Network and collaborate with partners in relevant fields to facilitate and contribute to and enhance the chances of success in the projects’ implementation.
- Casework intervention on behalf of victims
- Enlisting in formal school setting and rehabilitation of victims of child labour and trafficking
- Home visits to evaluate and monitor rescued children’s progress
- Visit /Baseline Data Collection in selected slums within the Metropolis
- Advocacy visits/meeting with policy makers and law enforcers:
- Focused group awareness talks, Sensitization talks, Public Rallies and workshops.
- Casework intervention on behalf of the victims:
- Media Strategy:
- Follow up services
- Expanding the Frontiers of Child Rights Protection
- Victims Sourcing and Referral Services
- Update trainings for Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), Public Health Workers (PHEWs), Community Health Workers (CHEWs) and Midwives.
- Establishment of FGM counseling desk s at existing primary health centres
- Government Ministries
- Law enforcements agencies
- Non Govermental Organizations
- Media Houses
- Gatekeepers in communities
- Primary Health Workers
- Network for the Defense of Child’s Rights
Some of our results include;
- Resettlement of 250 children back to school
- Resettlement of 14 children into vocational training
- Enumeration of 841 children in slums
- Capacity building for Primary Health workers on FGM counselling procedures
- Access of 47,118 women to expert counselling on FGM and the need to stop the harmful practice.
- Shortage of homes to keep the street children for rehabilitation and those whose homes are untraceable or those who are not willing to return home to their parents/ guardians immediately.
- Non-implementation and enforcement of laws on female genital mutilation.