The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN on Thursday in Abuja said that the Government of Nigeria remains unwaveringly dedicated to improve children’s access to child-friendly justice system.
Malami made this known while inaugurating the Justice for Children Coordination Forum at the launch of the EU-UNICEF access to justice programme for children on the move and other vulnerable children.
The AGF spoke through the Special Assistant to the President on Research and Special Duties, office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Professor Muhammad Lawal Ahmadu.
Malami said through age and gender-sensitive juvenile justice mechanisms and alternatives to detention for children on the move and vulnerable children, the Nigeria child would benefit from the child-friendly justice sector.
The Minister lamented the pathetic situation of some children saying that “this administration will continue to do its best in the protection of the rights of children and vulnerable persons”.
He disclosed that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice currently engages respective Heads of Courts to establish Specialized Courts for the speedy and seamless trial of Rape/Gender-Based Violence Offences in the country.
According to him it is hoped that these specialized courts will fast track such cases and result in justice for child victims of sexual violence.
The Minister inaugurated Justice for Children Forum.
The Forum chaired by the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice has representatives from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Humanitrian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the Nigerian Police Force.
Other Members of the Forum were drawn from Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, National Human Right Commission, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and University of Abuja.
The remaining members of the Forum were representatives from Buni Yadi Foundation, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, FIDA, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Judiciary Institute, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCR).