The Lagos State Government has advocated that children’s rights be prioritised in national policies and programmes in the country.
The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Agboola Dabiri, stated this on Friday at a programme to mark the 2018 Day of the African Child in Ikeja.
At the event with the theme, ‘Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development,’ Dabiri said it was time the interest of children be placed above other things in national policies and programmes, as many still lacked access to education and quality health care.
He said, “Failure to equip children with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will isolate them from economic and education opportunities, as well as increase their poverty level.”
Dabiri stated that irrespective of where children lived or what their circumstance were, no child should be left out in whatever form.
“They deserve to be integrated into the plans, programmes and policies of government at all levels.
“It is a common belief that children whose interests are not prioritised may not attain their full growth and development potential, especially if they are left behind in developmental programmes,” Dabiri added.
The commissioner said the state government had commenced the review of the child rights law in alignment with the regional and international agreements to promote children rights.
He said the review aimed at strengthening the interest of children and prohibit their exclusion in national and regional polices, which was also part of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s all-inclusive policy thrust.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said children should be at the centre stage in government’s plans, calling on stakeholders in child development to ensure that children constituted major part of their plans.
The Lagos State Coordinator, National Council for Child Right Advocates, Olaitan Oshodi; said children deserved the best education and health care irrespective of economic status of any society.