Pedophiles are on the increase in Bayelsa State according to a revelation from a child protection agency made to the officials of the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other stakeholders in cases of child abuses, including the rape and death of a four-year-old girl at the hands of a 40-year-old man in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA).

The shocking revelation was made by the State Coordinator of the Child Protection Network (CPN), Mrs. Mariam Kombo-Ezeh, who also revealed that two other cases of child abuse that occurred in the state included the death of a 7-year-old girl from complications of HIV/AIDS, which she contracted after being raped by a man, and the gang rape of a 13-year-old girl in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

In her presentation, Mrs. Mariam told the gathering of stakeholders on child protection, which was themed “Advocacy Engagement with Policy Makers on Domestication of Child Right Act in Bayelsa,” said the cases of child abuse and inhuman treatments were on the rise in the state. “It is pathetic and the cases are on the high side. There is the need for a speedy passage of the Bill on Child Rights into Law.”

In her speech at the stakeholders meeting, which was organized by the state government in collaboration with the Child Protection Network (CPN) with the support of UNICEF, the Enugu Field Office, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Ms. Nengi Rufus-Spiff, said the present administration is shocked by the revelations.

According to Ms. Rufus-Spiff, children in Bayelsa State will be properly protected under the proposed bill in the State House of Assembly. “The parents too should rise up to the realities of training the boy child to respect the girl child. It is a thing of regret to know that the rate of such abuses is high,” she said.

Chief Field Officer of UNICEF, Enugu office,Mr. Nwan aka Chude Onwurah, represented by Charlse Zuki, commended the state government on the existing policies on the protection and welfare of the Bayelsa Child. “We are optimistic that the Child Right Bill in Bayelsa will soon be passed into law,” he said.

Culled from SaharaReporters.ecm

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