The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, has called on parents, guardians and the Nigeria Police Force to opt for alternative methods of rehabilitating children in conflict with the law rather than sending them to remand homes.
Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the State Commissioner in the Ministry, made the call at a Community Rehabilitation programme organized by the Ministry, in collaboration with UNICEF, for stakeholders in Ilupeju, Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area of the State.
Represented at the event by Mrs. Giwa Ododo, Programme Co-ordinator in the Ministry, the Commissioner explained that the new programme was initiated and designed for juvenile and under-age children who have committed minor offences, stressing that the implementation of a pilot programme will soon commence.
In his remarks, the representative of UNICEF at the programme, Dr. Wilfred Momah, said the children in conflict with the law should be sent to designated centres for counseling, community service or vocational training as against prison or correctional homes.
He pointed out that delinquent children could still be reformed and integrated into the society by creating activities that would help them live a responsible life and return back to their family.
While imploring the participants and stakeholders to be conversant with the happenings in their community, Wilfred educated them on the State Child Right Law that projects a child as immature before the law.
Similarly, the Sole Administrator of Odi-Olowo LCDA, Mr. Adekunle Julius, warned parents and guardians to stop the use of force in correcting their children but rather explore other options of checkmating negative behaviour.