Since its establishment, DSVRT has identified protection of children from neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation is an important aspect and should be given priority. Consequently, we have embarked on various initiatives all aimed at ensuring that the rights of children are adequately safeguarded and protected.
DSVRT’s various initiatives all stem from Policy Formulation
1. DSVRT drafted and facilitated the ratification of the Executive Order on Mandated Reporting in 2014. This is the first of its kind in Nigeria, and we have since witnessed
2. In 2016, DSVRT drafted and facilitated the ratification of the Executive Order on Safeguarding and Child Protection, another first of its kind in Nigeria. The Executive Order establishing the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is a catalyst for awareness and commitment of all stakeholders, including every member of the community in the protection of children.
The Safeguarding and Child Protection Programme has been developed to prescribe management systems in place to create and maintain a safe environment for all our children. It also in clear terms, articulates procedures to be adopted when disclosures of abuse are made.
This Safeguarding and Child protection policy highlights the seriousness this administration has towards protecting the lives of all children in the State. It applies to all State Government organisations, all public and private schools, child centred institutions, orphanages located in the State.
Ultimately, the ratification of the Executive Order, would reduce and possibly eliminate incidences of child abuse, establish a culture of early identification and effective intervention of cases.
3. DEVELOPMENT OF STRAC BOOK- (e copy available for download)
The textbook seeks to inform and educate children on their rights and responsibilities. It is to strengthen the reading culture of our children, empower them and serve as a preventive tool against all forms of abuses against children.
STRAC is easy on the eyes, colourful, age appropriate and effectively communicates the message in a way that Primary school students can understand and relate with.
STRAC was produced after consultation with relevant stakeholders, namely, care givers, children, Faith Based Organisations, Civil Society Organisations and Law enforcement agencies.
1. Flowing from the Executive Order in 2014, DSVRT has embarked on Child Protection Trainings for MANDATED REPORTERS in the School system- SOCIAL WORKERS and GUIDANCE COUNSELLORS. 1800 officers drawn from all 6 Education districts have been trained on Mandated Reporting.
2. Safeguarding the Rights of a Child Workshop (STRAC) and Smart Teens Advocacy Initiative (STAI)
STRAC is essentially for Primary School students. Children are appropriately sensitized on how to avoid being a victim of sexual abuse, self-defense and how to preserve evidence when physically or sexually assaulted whilst STAI is one of the central elements of our fight against the growing trend of RAPE culture in Secondary Schools. It’s a RAPE prevention workshop led by trained Peer educators, who have experience in gender relations, socialization, dating violence and sexual violence prevention.
In the past 3 years, over 7000 school children have participated in both STRAC and STAI workshops.
MULTI AGENCY TRAINING
- In order to ensure full implementation of the Safeguarding and Child Protection Programme, DSVRT has embarked on series of Multi Agency Trainings On Safeguarding And Child Protection For Designated Safeguarding And Child Protection Officers- Police, Health Workers, Guidance Counsellors, School Administrators, (Both Private And Public Schools) Social Workers, Founders Of Schools. in the past 1 year, we have trained and equipped over 1200 Designated Safeguarding and Child Protection Officers
- PARENTS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE ON SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION
Even as law enforcement, religious institutions, social workers, school administrators, health workers, community leaders and other relevant stakeholders are being trained on how to appropriately respond to Child Abuse in the State, parents, who should usually be first responders must not be left out as they have a pivotal role to play in preventing and responding to Child Abuse.
Parents are therefore engaged in a non-judgmental atmosphere, and empowered with information as to what Child Abuse entails, as well as the ramifications and importance of child’s rights. Parents were further informed of the signs to look out for if there is a suspected case of abuse, and steps to take if a child is indeed being abused.
Consequently, as PTA members, they are awakened to their roles in enforcing the Policy and ensuring schools and all other child centred institutions, strictly adhere and implement the Policy.