The National Human Rights Commission has asked northern governors to rehabilitate almajiri children.
The commission said following the relocation of the children as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, the governors ought to develop and implement a plan that would permanently address the challenges the almajiri system poses to society.
Many of the repatriated children have tested positive for the disease.
In an advisory on Friday, Tony Ojukwu, executive secretary of the commission, said the children are exposed to all manner of danger.
Ojukwu said the children suffer multiple violations of human rights which is contrary to the constitution, the child’s right act and other laws.
“Almajiri children are exposed to increased vulnerabilities and risks, including death, trafficking, kidnapping, drug use and addiction, recruitment into terrorism, violent crimes, sexual and other forms of assault and forced/child marriages,” the executive secretary said in the advisory issued by Lambert Oparah, the commission’s director of corporate affairs.
“Northern states should develop a multi-sectoral program of action for the transfer, return and rehabilitation of Almajiri children.
“A major step towards achieving this will be an obligation on the part of affected states to put in place financial, institutional and programmatic frameworks to urgently address the needs of the Almajiri children.
“[The governments should] put in place adequate plans for the enrolment and retention of Almajiri children in schools, including access to existing programmes such as school feeding and free education aimed at addressing the educational needs of the children in line with their rights to basic and compulsory education as guaranteed under the CRA and the Universal Basic Education Act.”
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