Bauchi State in Nigeria Enacts Child Protection Law, Marking a Milestone for Children’s Rights

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

In a significant development, Bauchi State in Northern Nigeria has officially implemented a child protection law, becoming the 36th and final state to adopt the Child Rights Act that was originally enacted by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003. This legislation aims to safeguard the rights of both girls and boys, shielding them from various forms of abuse while ensuring their access to education—a crucial aspect, given that nearly 70% of out-of-school children in the country reside in northern Nigeria.

Helen Idiong, the Director of Programs at the non-governmental organization Plan International Nigeria, views the adoption of this law in Bauchi State as a significant stride forward for children’s rights in Nigeria.

“Until now, any efforts related to child welfare in Bauchi State were haphazard. Previously, when someone fell victim to sexual violence, there were no clear guidelines for seeking support. We are delighted because cases of gender-based violence, which have long been swept under the rug, will now be addressed through this law,” she expressed to Christina Okello.

“This law could serve as a deterrent,” Idiong continues. “Anyone in Bauchi who believes their child’s rights have been violated now has the tools to pursue legal action or seek redress. In a state where the prevalence of early marriages remains high, this law could act as a deterrent, sending a clear message that such practices are unacceptable.”

However, Idiong emphasizes that the impact of this law extends beyond marriage. “This law also applies to education. With a significant number of out-of-school children, we can leverage this legislation to ensure that the government implements measures for these children to attend school,” she concludes.

The enactment of the Child Rights Act in Bauchi State is poised to create a more structured and supportive environment for addressing issues related to child protection, offering a framework for legal recourse and signaling a commitment to the broader cause of children’s welfare in Nigeria.


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