The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, on Tuesday pledged his administration’s support to UNICEF to promote and protect Children’s Rights as enshrined in the UN charter and the country’s constitution.
Idris made the pledge at the inauguration of a Model Specialised Children Police Unit in Abuja.
He was represented by Mr Joshak Habila, Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of operations.
“I wish to further inform the UNICEF representatives present here that my administration is committed to giving you every support you might need to promote the right of every child,” he said.
He challenged other domestic, international, national, governmental and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) to support the fight against violence against children in the country.
The I-G further called on UNICEF and other aspiring supporters of the police, to continue to support it by way of providing local and international training for personnel.
He commended UNICEF for its financial and physical support to the police.
Dr Olasunbo Odebode, Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF, called on the police to hold perpetrators responsible for their acts of violence against children to avoid future occurrence.
“The police and other justice sector institutions have key roles to play in achieving the objectives, “she said.
She said that UNICEF would continue to support the Nigeria Police Force to effectively respond to violence against children in collaboration with other key sectors.
Odebode enjoined all states in the country to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act 2003.
“I urge all institutions and persons to translate into concrete action Nigeria’s commitment to end all forms of violence against children,” she said.
She said that Nigerian children deserved a safe space where they would be protected from physical, sexual and emotional violence,” she said.
Odebode said that Nigeria was among the 14 countries to have conducted a survey on the prevalence of violence against children.
She said that the specialised police children units would be replicated in 18 states of the country.
ACP Margaret Ochalla, Force Gender Coordinator and Advisor to the Inspector-General of Police, said that 410 police officers had been trained on handling children cases in 13 state commands.
He said that sensitisation programme on general guidelines and standard operating procedures were also held for commissioners of police and DPOs of the state commands.
The unit is a specialised desk, team or squad mandated to handle specific issues on violence against children of police officers.
The project was executed with the support of UNICEF, EU and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Those who attended the function included representatives of UNODC, EU, UN and UN Women.