KDSG inaugurates Justice for Children Coordination Forum


Kaduna State Government on Wednesday, inaugurated the state Justice for Children Coordination Forum to ensure access to justice for children.

The State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, said at the inauguration in Kaduna that the forum would work in collaboration with UNICEF to address issues regarding children’s growth and productivity.

Baba, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Steve Joseph, added that the forum would identify areas that affect children’s development in the state.

She said the forum would also proffer solutions on how to ensure justice, especially to minors who are engaged in labour activities.

Baba appealed to the forum members to be dedicated and committed towards achieving set goals and responsibilities.

In his remarks, the UNICEF Chief of Kaduns Field Office, Zakari Adams said the forum would  focus on  access to justice for children, as many children who committed offences were not given adequate access to fair hearing and justice.

“This is because we do not have a specialized police unit that are trained, and  correctional home for children, and no family court,  and that is a problem and we are here to find solutions to the problem,” he said.

According to him, the establishment of the forum would deepen conversation on promotion of access to justice for children.

He explained that the forum would ensure promote coordination between law enforcement and justice sectors to specifically address access to justice for children.

The UNICEF chief identified some of the challenges inhibiting access to justice for children to include absence of legal framework for child justice administration and specialized children police unit.

He said there was urgent need to ensure that vulnerable children, especially survivors of violence and those on the move, had access to child-friendly justice system, to uphold their rights and punish perpetrators.

Also, the State Chief Judge, Justice Mohammed Bello said all stakeholders must ensure that children get access to justice.

Bello pledged to ensure the establishment of family courts to implement the Child Right Law before the end of his tenure.

On his part, Alhaji Nasiru Magaji, the District Head of Kawo, expressed concern over the high rate of rape of minors in the state and called on parent to be the voice for their children to curtail the menace.

Members of the forum include representatives from ministries of Human Services and Social Development, Education, Health and Judiciary.

It also included the Police, Correctional Service, Immigration, NAPTIP, FIDA, UNICEF and media organizations, among others, as members.