The Edo Government says it has plan to establish shelters across the state to cater for the needs of children on the streets and protect their rights.
The Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs Barbara Osobajo, made the disclosure on Thursday in Benin.
Osobajo spoke during the sensitisation and meeting with children living on streets, in commemoration of the International Day for the African Child.
She noted that in recent times, the state had been faced with the challenges of harmful practices against children such child labour, denial of rights to basic education, child molestation and trafficking.
“But we stand undaunted in the face of these challenges, knowing that the ball is in our court and we will win.
“We are sincerely touched by the harshness these young ones have to go through on daily basis, being threatened by insecurity, lack of basic education, and proper healthcare.
“It is therefore in furtherance of the protection of the right of the child to have an opinion that we are gathered here today.
“This is with a view to listening to our children living on the streets, as we proffer ways to make their lives better.
“Our resolve is further strengthened by our plan to establish shelters across the state to cater for the needs of children on the streets and protect their rights”, she said.
The permanent secretary further recalled that the state government had warned those involved in perpetuating condemnable acts against children to desist from such.
“This is because the wrath of the law is no respecter of persons, and the punishment will be fully meted out to offenders,” she added.
She explained that the Edo government tailored the 2022 celebration of the International Day for the African Child towards meeting the challenges of children living in the streets.
Osobajo said that the children were vulnerable and needed to be catered for in line with the 2022 theme for the event.
The theme is “Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting the Child: Progress on Policy and Practice since 2013.”