21 January 2013

Nigeria: Unicef Launches Child Justice Clinic in Abuja

UNICEF 'C' Field Office in collaboration with the FCT Child Protection Network (CPN), Saturday formally launched the FCT Child Justice Clinic (CJC) to give vulnerable children access to justice and psycho-social supports.

In a keynote address at the launch, UNICEF Chief of Field Assistant for 'C' Field Office, James Mugaju, said the launch of a Child Justice Clinic in the FCT would offer hope to vulnerable children whose rights are often violated.

"Our children remain the future of tomorrow and obviously, if our children are neglected and abused, violated, discriminated against or exploited, then the hope of a better future is shattered. The only way to avoid this is to pay attention to our children and safeguard their safety at all times and in all circumstances," he said.

Mr Mugaju, whose address was presented by Barrister Ladi Alabi, noted that access to justice and social welfare for children does not happen readily for vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Nigeria, hence the need for commitment, sacrifice and perseverance from all stakeholders to give children easy access to justice.

He called on the public to give the clinic the necessary support for maximum functionality as well as advised the clinicians to give their very best and pay attention to documentation.

Also speaking, FCT CJC Committee Chairman, Lucky C. Durueke, said, the clinic was established primarily to serve as a joint service delivery point for poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged children, adding that services at the clinic are absolutely free.

On her part, Founder of WOTCLEF, Mrs Amina Titi Abubakar said her organisation is in full support of the initiative and has provided an office space for the Child Justice Clinic to take off in the FCT.

Present at the launch were representatives from the National Human Rights Commission, National Population Commission, FCT Social Development Secretariat, National Orientation Agency and the police, amongst others.

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