THE WORKSHOP ON CHILD AND VULNERABLE ADULT PROTECTION HELD ON 16TH AND 17TH FEBRUARY 2021

Protection of child and vulnerable adult is the responsibility of all however, negligence and some perceived culture/ tolerance gave room for the lackadaisical disposition of the society toward the protection of children and vulnerable adult.

The purpose of the workshop was to educate teachers on the basic responsibilities of teachers and caregivers in the child development process. The facilitator Reverend Sister Theresa Olaniyan SSL opined that Jesus’s counter-cultural approach is the best. She also noted that Jesus embraces children and encouraged his disciples to do the same. On the international scene, she gave examples of global policies which guide parents, teachers, and handlers of children of which Nigeria is a signatory to The United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, UNCRC.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of parents/Guidance, teachers, and caregivers to ensure that children are well protected and not abused. Either physically, emotionally, and sexually. It entails been attentive to children’s protective factors. Such risk factors include

  • Negligence
  • The loneliness of a child
  • Isolation of a child
  • Giving gifts to a student (Grooming)
  • Calling students pet names

The facilitator Sr Theresa also explained that embracing protective factors such as marking out boundaries, employing competent caregivers, bringing stakeholders (Parent, Government, and child protective professionals)

It was generally agreed that having well-defined boundaries, informing teachers and caregivers,s and parents about the legal implications of child abuse could help to reduce the rate of child abuse in Nigeria and Africa at large. It was also suggested that a child-safe guiding team could be established where children are nursed, adults especially those that are not parents of the child should avoid having dual relationships with children. That is to say, all relationships should be formal.

Furthermore, it was also suggested that the child protection club should be established as one of the clubs in schools. Also, constant awareness should be made available.

Moreover, successful implementation of child protection policies must involve all key stakeholders such as

  • Government agencies in charge of child protection and education
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Host community
  • Caregiver must involve all this group.

Child protection is the responsibility of all such as educators, parents, government and teachers must embrace global approach/policy of protecting children and vulnerable adult coupled with Jesus approach which is counter-cultural.