The Kebbi State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill to domesticate the Child Rights Act in the state.

The Child Rights Act is an international law domesticated by Nigeria in 2003. It protects children against abuse.

The passage of the bill in Kebbi State followed that of Katsina in December last year. Both North-west states are affected by child marriages and the street children (Almajiri) menace.

The spokesperson of the governor, Yahaya Sarki, in a statement to reporters, said the passage of the bill followed presentation of the report of the House Committee on Justice and Judiciary, and deliberations by the Committee of the whole House where the Bill was read for the 3rd time.

“The Chairman of Justice and Judiciary Committee, Barrister Aminu Muhammed Bunza, while presenting the Committee’s report at plenary, explained that the committee studied Bills and made comparison with law of other states such as Sokoto, Kano and Kaduna to ascertain the extent of the laws in those states.

“The Committee visited four Emirates headquarters of the state to entertain views of Royal fathers and sensitised the public as well as organised a public hearing involving Council of Ulama and Civil society organizations in the state among others to X-ray religious and moral implications of the Bill,” the official statement said.

The Child Right Act

Nigeria adopted the Child Rights Act in 2003 to domesticate the international convention on the rights of a child.

The Act covers key aspects of the lives of children and adolescents. It is divided into “survival rights, development rights, participation rights, and protection rights”.

Pass and Repeal

In the North-west, Kaduna was the first state that passed the law in 2018. Jigawa also domesticated the Child’s Right Act, but later repealed it in 2012. However, it reintroduced the bill in September last year.

The lawmakers in Jigawa said the law was repealed due to inadequate input from citizens and ambiguous sections that needed explanations.

The Kano government in January 2020, said it had forwarded the bill to the state’s House of Assembly.

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