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UNODC, FG Assess Response to Violence Against Children

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
visited the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to assess its partnership on
prevention, response to violence against children by terrorist and violent extremist

Information about the assessment visit is in a statement signed by the
ministry’s Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Olujimi Oyetomi on Tuesday
in Abuja, after a meeting between UNODC and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary,
Mr Olufunso Adebiyi and others.

The UNODC team was led by Ms Alexandra Martins, the Head, Global Programme to End Violence
Against Children.

The assessment was programmed to be done within the context of STRIVE Juvenile Project
which was launched in 2021.

The project is to address the situation and treatment of children exploited and recruited by
terrorist and violent extremist groups.

The ministry’s permanent secretary described issues associated with violence against children
as a huge problem.

He, therefore, stressed the need for parents, the society, government and all stakeholders to
contribute toward taking care of the younger generation so they dont become problem in future.

He also stressed the need to keep out-of-school children off the streets, and to empower the
mothers of such children.

He added that “when you do this, you are rehabilitating their mothers, who in turn will take
the children out of the streets and draw the children back to themselves.”

Adebiyi listed the causes of out-of-school children to include Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), adding that the ministry has a centre in Kurudu, a suburb
of Abuja, for SGBV survivors.

He said the ministry also provides psycho-social support for women victims of intimate partner abuse
through its Situation Data Reporting Centre.

The UNODC team leader stressed the need to ensure appropriate treatment of children associated
with terrorist and violent extremist groups with a view to promoting their rehabilitation and reintegration into
the society.

She said the UN office was of the opinion that any child formerly associated with terrorist and violent extremist
group and in contact with national authorities, including the justice system, has the right to be treated
according to specific safeguards.

She added that such a child also has the right to be treated in accordance with applicable international law
and in a way that prevents further victimisation.

The office had endorsed Roadmap on the Treatment of Children Associated with Terrorist and Violent Extremist
Groups for comprehensive guidance, she said.(NAN)



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