Kaduna State Government in collaboration with UNICEF has Inaugurated the state Justice for Children Coordination Forum which will ensure access to justice for children especially minors.
The State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development Hajiya Hafsat Baba while inaugurating the forum said the forum would assist in addressing issues regarding children cases with a view to being more productive in the society
Hajiya Hafsat Baba represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr Steven Joseph said the forum is saddled with the responsibility to ensure justice to minors who do things contrary to the law.
He called on the members of the forum to be dedicated and committed to achieving the desired objective
The Chief of UNICEF Field office Kaduna, Mr Zakari Adams said the purpose of the meeting was to ensure access to justice to children by all stakeholders.
Represented by the Child Protection Specialist, Dr Wildfred Mamah noted that, many children when committed offenses are not given adequate access to justice
“This is because we do not have a specialized police unit that is train and correctional home for children, family court and that is another problem and we are here to find solutions to the problems”
Dr Adam explained that the forum was inaugurated to promote coordination within the law enforcement and justice sectors to specifically address challenges of accessing justice for children.
According to him, there is an urgent need to ensure that, vulnerable children, especially those who are survivors of violence, which includes those on the move, access a child-friendly justice system to uphold their rights and convict perpetrators.
Earlier the Chief Judge of Kaduna State, Justice Mohammed Lawal Bello said all hands must be on deck to ensure that children get access to justice.
The Chief Judge represented by Justice Darius H. Khobo emphasized the need for the establishment of family courts and a Special Police Unit that would be handling children-related cases professionally.
Representatives from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, Education, health, judiciary, Police, correctional services, immigration, NAPTIP, FIDA, UNICEF and media organization among others.
Reporting by Aminu Dalmatu, Editing by Tola Oguneye