The Child Protection Network on Wednesday said it recorded and handled 50 reported cases of sexual offences against children in Plateau since January.
The CPN State Coordinator, Mr. Tony Obemeasor, disclosed this at a workshop organised for stakeholders on “CPN Reporting Procedures on Violence Against Children” in Jos.
Obemeasor said the Plateau Government provided funding for the 50 cases of child sexual offences to ensure appropriate action was taken.
He said, “We got assistance from the office of the secretary to the state government to follow up 50 cases reported from January till date.
“The funds were used to train case officers currently assigned to families on case management.
“The cases are being managed in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Justice to ensure all cases currently undertaken by CPN come to a logical conclusion.
“Of these 50 cases, 10 were assigned to five case workers with each handling two cases each.
“In the new year, we expect to take over 20 more cases after conducting the second phase of training for the case management officers.”
The CPN coordinator said the objective of the workshop was to work with key stakeholders, brainstorm and produce an appropriate VAC reporting procedure.
He said the key stakeholders included the Police, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), medical personnel, the state’s Ministry of Justice, as well as the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Obemeasor added that the objective of the workshop was to develop a plan for a way forward to avert child sexual cases or any form of child-related offences through appropriate and coordinated reporting pattern.
He said the plan would be forwarded to the ministry for women affairs for proactive action to avert the menace.
In his remarks, a National Youth Service Corps official, Mr. Stephen Dewan, said it was apparent there was no interdepartmental synergy for reports to be sent to the accurate channel for appropriate action.
Dewan, who is the NYSC Assistant Director for Planning, Research and Statistics in Plateau, said that the Corps was a viable tool that could easily be mobilised for sensitisation and advocacy purposes.
He explained that the NYSC was looking forward to collaborating with CPN for a robust awareness campaign on child abuse and sexual harassment.
The Director, Child Welfare of the Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr. Gwamfa Kannap, said that the collaboration with Civil Society Organisations, the CPN and NGOs to monitor activities was important.
Kannap said the workshop would bridge the gap and ensure clear record of data of such cases for appropriate action.