We are about to embark on a very long journey. But I want to assure you it is going to be a very interesting journey. What I am going to be sharing with you is a product of 14 years of field experience and research since the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 was promulgated.
The whole idea of sensitisation predicated on the realisation of the fact that the success or otherwise of the law in protecting the rights and upholding the responsibilities of the Nigerian child is predicated on the attitude of the people to the law. The saying that ‘law is made for man and not man for the law,’ is ever true.
It simply means except man is ready to work the law, the law in itself becomes weak to regulate human behaviour in a sovereign state. I have long concluded that the key to the people’s respect for any law in modern society is social policing. This is a situation where the majority of the citizens are involved in the enforcement of the law by holding themselves and fellow citizens accountable to the provisions of the law.
Social policing, I must say is only achievable through an enlightenment exercise, which focus on educating the generality of the people on the relevance of the law to their social and economic well-being. In the case of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003, our people must understand that the peace of our nation is determined by the peace of our children.
You see, that the human factor is the blood of any cause or project, noble or ignoble is further corroborated by Paul Romer of Stanford University, who has long argued, “great advances have always come from ideas; ideas do not fall from the sky; they come from people. People write the software, design the products and start the new businesses. Every new thing that gives pleasure or productivity or convenience …is the result of human ingenuity.” I think the last sentence is very instructive.
I am of the view that if we must get the cooperation of all the custodians of the life of the child, in protecting the rights and upholding the responsibilities of the child, we must run through what I have come to identify as the forty human hindrances to the enforcement of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. The goal is for the custodians to know where they stand in the equation and how they can make credible commitments towards improvement.
I am of the honest view that, if we are ready to face the reality of the human hindrances to be shared, every custodian will find himself in at least four of the human hindrances. Here are the forty-one human hindrances:
1. THE SOCIALLY TROUBLED CUSTODIAN: due to the failure of the state that makes the custodians of the mind of the child to carry the social and economic burdens that are meant to be carried by the state, many custodians become crowded and are not able to live up to their responsibilities. The implication of the foregoing is that the custodians of the mind of the child are distracted and caught up in the rat race of survival.
It is a very difficult task for the custodians of the life of the child to play their roles when they are made to carry loads that are meant for the state to carry for them as citizens, from whom the state receives tax. It requires deft discipline, consistent sacrifices and absolute trust in God to survive and make credible impact as custodians of the life of the child.
2. THE VICTIM: Many parents and other stakeholders in the life of the child today are victims of wrong upbringing. The unfortunate thing is that everything produces after its own kind. Therefore, parents and other stakeholders in the life of the child must examine themselves before they embark on the painstaking journey of giving a life, hope and future to the child under a proper parenting plan.