The Deputy Speaker, Borno State House of Assembly, Mohammed Askira has decried increasing cases of child abuse in the state.

He said this on Wednesday during a public hearing it organized by the Special Ad-hoc Committee on Violence Against Persons, Justice and Judiciary on the Borno State Child Rights Domestication Act held at the Pinnacle Hotel in Maiduguri.

According to the Speaker, the passage of the Child Rights Bill into law will protect vulnerable children from sexual abuses and other violations of their rights.

Askira, who represented the Speaker of the House, said Governor Babagana Zulum has indicated readiness to sign the bill into law, adding that Borno State will soon join the ranks of states where the Child Rights Act is being implemented.

Saying that the bill is religious and culture friendly, he added that it has huge benefits for children including provision for family courts and caregivers for vulnerable children.

“This is a bill that everyone will be proud of. The rate of sexual abuse against children is alarming and the bill will address these issues. It will also guide ministries, departments and agencies on the protection of children. I invite you all to make contributions that will strengthen the bill,’’ he said.

In her remarks, the UNICEF Chief of Maiduguri Field Office, Phuong T. Nguyen, said the occasion was a milestone for conflict-affected children.

UNICEF Chief of Maiduguri Field Office, Phuong T. Nguyen,

“By reaching this stage the state government and the honourable lawmakers of the Borno State House of Assembly have showed commitment and dedication to secure the rights and protection of its children.

While the domestication of the CRA is an important milestone, much more work lies ahead to implement the Borno State Child Rights Bill.

UNICEF and all other development partners are committed to ensure that enablers are available for this Act to be enacted into law, thus providing the legal framework binding all duty bearers to its article,’’ she said.