UNICEF and European Union Collaborate with Kano State to Enhance Child-Friendly Policing

…By Larry John for TDPel Media. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the Kano State Ministry of Justice, has organized a workshop focused on the Nigerian Police Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for children who come in contact with the law.

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Commitment to Child-Friendly Policing:

During the event held in Kano, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhammad Gumel, highlighted that the development of the SOPs demonstrates the Nigeria Police Force’s dedication to ensuring child-friendly policing across the country.

He emphasized that the SOPs would provide a strategic framework and clear guidelines for delivering services to children, facilitating their timely access to justice.

Capacity Building and Awareness:

The workshop aims to enhance the capacity of police officers in understanding and addressing issues concerning children.

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Commissioner Gumel emphasized that it would also contribute to enlightening various stakeholders, including security agencies, human rights activists, civil society organizations, the Human Rights Commission, and the judiciary, on effectively handling matters involving children in a professional manner.

Importance of Child-Friendly Procedures:

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Gender), Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation, Abuja, Oki Emesim Rita, commended the joint efforts of the organizers in promoting child rights.

She emphasized the need for child-friendly procedures that are sensitive and responsive to the unique needs and circumstances of children.

Rita stressed the importance of disseminating the SOPs to police officers in states and desk officers nationwide to facilitate the handling of cases involving children who come in contact with the law, as well as gender-based violence.

Role of UNICEF and Partners:

Mrs. Fatima Adamu, the Child Protection Specialist from UNICEF, Kano, explained that the SOPs were developed in collaboration with UNICEF and the European Union to standardize the Nigeria Police Force’s response to cases involving children in contact with the law.

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She highlighted the significance of the SOPs in guiding policymakers, security agencies, the judiciary, and other stakeholders in implementing child-friendly procedures.

Adamu mentioned the partnership with the Kano state government under the Justice for Children in Kano initiative, involving actors such as the Child Protection Network, the Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Police, the judiciary, and the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Enhancing Effectiveness through Dissemination:

The workshop aimed to disseminate the SOPs to enable the Nigerian Police to effectively and efficiently carry out their duties.

Participants included representatives from various sectors, and the training sought to equip them with the necessary knowledge to handle children’s issues professionally.

The Permanent Secretary of the Kano State Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General, Hajiya Amina Yargaya, expressed gratitude to the EU and UNICEF for their commendable initiative, urging participants to take the training seriously and apply the knowledge gained.

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Positive Reception and Commitment:

Participants who spoke with reporters expressed their appreciation to the state Ministry of Justice, the EU, and UNICEF for organizing the workshop.

They pledged to share the knowledge acquired during the training with others, further spreading awareness about child-friendly procedures and best practices.

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