At least, 150 females have been raped and 31 babies abandoned on the streets of Lagos in the last one year, says the Lagos State Government.
Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, disclosed this today at a ministerial news conference in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Akinbile-Yussuf disclosed that 150 reported cases of sexual and physical abuse were recorded, while fice pregnant school children were assisted to access adequate antenatal and delivery services as they were also integrated back to school.
“A total of 57,350 school children benefitted from individual and group counseling sessions to curb truancy, gangsterism, abscondment and other social vices. 150 reported cases of sexual abuse and physical abuse were treated. 5 pregnant school children were assisted to access adequate antenatal and delivery services. They were also integrated back to school,” she said.
She further disclosed that 85 suspected rapists and people who physically abused children had been taken to court while the cases were still pending.
The commissioner also disclosed that 31 babies, which include 19 female and 12 male, abandoned by their parents were rescued in the last one year on the streets of Lagos.
“The Child Protection Unit is responsible for the rescue/referral of all abandoned babies and “lost but found” children in the State to registered orphanages and homes. It also carries out child audit on the registered orphanages in order to conduct a case review of the children in the homes with a view to decongesting the homes and discouraging institutionalization. A total number of 31 babies (19 females and 12 males) were rescued during the period under review,” she said.
On adoption and fostering, Akinbile –Yussuf disclosed that in the last one year, over 1,000 applications had been received; out of which 110 applications had been screened for Adoption.
She added that 74 babies were released for adoption from previous the approvals while 81 Adoptions were legalized through the Family Courts (70 were for Local and 11 for International).
On the issue of beggars, she disclosed that in the last one year, 1,340 beggars, destitute and mentally challenged were rescued off the streets of Lagos.
In a related development, Lagos residents have been warned to desist from using children under the age of eighteen as House help or face the wrath of the law.
Also, anyone found guilty of rape will face life imprisonment as stipulated in the Child Rights Law of the state
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Lola Akande, also speaking at the briefing, said that the Law also negates using children as Beggars among other social vices.
Mrs. Akande, reiterated the commitment of the state government to the emancipation of women, children and the vulnerable in the society.
She noted that the Ministry in the last one year received 382 recorded mails of domestic violence and 533 distress phone calls, out of which a total of 234 cases were treated.