FG Cautions Against Employing Underage House Helps

Alvarado, Cassandre 2009(Photo by Marsha Miller/UT Austin)

Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, Minister of Women Affairs, has warned parents against handing their children away as domestic assistants or for adoption.

Kennedy-Ohanenye issued the warning on Tuesday during a New Year’s gala in Abuja to celebrate and inspire schoolchildren on their way to greatness.

According to her, the warning is vital to prevent child molestation, domestic violence, and other types of abuse. The minister stated that children’s adoptions should follow the law and be thoroughly watched to guarantee they are not molested or harmed.

She stated that parents had a responsibility to safeguard their children from all sorts of abuse and harmful behaviors by creating safe environments for their growth and development.

“The adoption of children is no more the way it used to be, narratives are being changed, you can’t adopt a Nigerian child and whisk the child away to overseas and do what you like.

“I urge parents, don’t have children you can’t train, these are some of the reasons these children are suffering.

“It is unfair and very bad that you have children you cannot train and subject them to so many sufferings,” she said. According to the minister, some parents give out their children to help others but they don’t look out to know if the child is okay or not.

“These children are loved by Nigerians and we don’t want them to be treated anyhow anymore.

“So, even the teachers should take note, ask the child questions and report back because the teachers are already aware that when you maltreat a child, it is a crime.

“We have mobile courts to report those that have molested or defile these children,” she said.

On the issue of house help, the minister emphasised that they must be of age and should not be maltreated under any circumstance.

Also, Rep Kafilat Ogbara, House Committee Chair on Women Affairs, noted that children were the future of every nation, so their role in nation-building must be understood.

“As children, students and Nigerians, you also have a role to play in nation building. Don’t see yourselves as just children who enjoy life, sleep, wake up, eat, play and go to school. You have to start building yourselves as leaders.

“I urge you to remain prayerful, obedient and serious with your studies. Know that there is no achievement you cannot reach in this life.

She urged children not to let anyone restrict them to believing that there is a ‘no go area’ for them.

Also speaking, Asmau Muhammed-Ignamus, Gombe state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, stressed that the Child Rights Act would ensure their rights and dignity were protected.

According to her, Gombe state government has already adopted the Act to protect children in the state.

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