To mitigate the rising wave of child sexual exploitation across the country, an international non-governmental organisation, Jose Foundation has said it is seeking the support of Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, to curbing all sexual exploitations in Nigeria.
In a press statement in Abuja yesterday, Jose Foundation said that it is expedient for leaders in high places to join their voices in condemning the heinous crime against humanity.
The statement which was signed by the president of Jose Foundation, Dr Martins Abhulimhen, said the victims of sexual exploitation especially children and the vulnerable are on the rise in Nigeria requiring urgent steps to address the problem hence, the need to seek the intervention of Mrs Buhari in bringing to an end the rising cases of sexual exploitation in the country.
He lamented that sexual exploitations has become a daily way of living in some communities in the country where children and vulnerable women are abused and violated with impunity.
Jose Foundation who is seeking justice for the numerous victims of sexual exploitation not only in Nigeria but around Africa is also aiming at providing shelter through rehabilitation for the traumatised victims in Nigeria through a-650 capacity safe house for victims of sexual exploitation.
Dr Abhulimhen disclosed that meeting the First Lady in London, United Kingdom recently, afforded the Foundation to brief the ‘Mother of the Nation’ some of the activities of the organisation including “Jose Foundation Child House which is to be managed by UK experts who came to Nigeria for the first child sexual exploitation and abuse workshop ”.
“Meeting her in the UK to seek her support to continue the fight is coincidence but interventions need to curb this crime. Jose Foundation Child House for child victims of sexual abuse will be opened in Abuja providing support to young victims from Abuja (FCT) and surrounding states.
“The ‘house’ will provide a comfortable, safe environment for young people to receive medical, social care and therapeutic support in one place as well as providing a location for the police to carry out interviews with victims and gather evidence in a more child-friendly environment.
“The ‘house’ has been designed in consultation with young people with the expectation being that co-located support and evidence gathering will reduce the trauma children face having to repeat their story several times to different agencies. It is expected that the house will support around 650 young people each year.
“We expect to build in all the 6 geographical locations of Nigeria. Jose Foundation Child House has the same goal and objective to protect our young children from sexual predators and paedophiles around the country,” he said.
Last year, Jose Foundation organised the first ever workshop on child sexual exploitation and abuse in Nigeria with experts from UK and USA converged on Abuja to educate Nigerian experts on how to tackle sexual exploitation and how to fight for justice for children using the instrumentality of the courts.
He said after the workshop, victims and parents have been coming for help from the Foundation.
“When the First Lady of Nigeria now put her weight on the issue of rape, sexual exploitation and abuse is a welcome development. Is not a coincidence but intervention needed to curb this crime and press on the other 12 states of the federation yet to implement the Child Rights Act to do so without further delay.”