The Almajiri Child Right Initiative, ACRI, on Tuesday called on Child rights advocates and stakeholders across the country to mark the second annual Almajiri Child Rights Day to draw attention to one of the world’s most abused sets of children.
In a press statement, by the team leader of the Almajiri children advocacy group, Mohammed Keana, he urged stakeholders to come up with a unified position on tackling the challenges associated with Almajiri children in Northern Nigeria.
“In May 2018, during the inaugural event, we pledged to engage critical stakeholders, especially
actors and benefactors, civil society, government at all levels, as well as the local and
international community towards developing and implementing the policy that offers a long-term
solution for returning dignity to the life of the Almajiri Child,” he said.
He stated that the introduction of the child destitution bill was a step in the right direction but the slow responses from civil society organisations, CSO, who ought to push for its passage had stalled the process.
“We have witnessed some level of change in the narrative and the National Child Destitution Bill at the 8th Assembly. But slow responses have delayed the urgency of the crisis.
“At our current pace, over 10 million Almajiri children will be part of those who have been failed by the rest of us. It is for this reason that the theme for 2019 is Almajiri Child Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.
He urged the Nigerian Government to set up a multi-stakeholder task team to address the social, educational, nutritional, and security situation of the Almajiri Child including a medium-term enlightenment plan for building consensus with actors and benefactors.
“The Members of the 9th Assembly of the Nigerian Legislature should pick up where their predecessors
left and pursue an all-encompassing solution to child destitution in Nigeria. Children advocates in Nigeria and our friends across the international community should add their voices to the plight of the Almajiri Child by joining the 13 million signatures campaign to stop this menace,” he said.