By Habibu Umar Aminu
A draft law on the domestication of Child Rights Act in Katsina has recommended death sentence or life imprisonment for anyone who sexually abuse a child.
Other provisions of the bill include one that any parent who subjects a child to begging or hawking, depriving them of schooling, shall be fined between N10,000 and N20,000 and imprisonment for not less than one month.
On the almajiri system, the proposed law permits the child to be separated from his parents but on the grounds that the parent or guardian shall provide the child with care, food, clothing, shelter and other necessities.
These were some of the recommendations by the technical committee that worked on the domestication of the law for Katsina under the chairmanship of Justice Sadiq Mahuta.
Speaking at the presentation of the draft law to the state Commissioner of Women affairs for onward transmission to the state governor, the committee Secretary Hajiya Fatima Jibo said it took a lot of commitment and hard work to arrive at the draft law.
She asked that government provide all necessary support to the child protection unit of the state police command for efficient implementation of the law.
Responding, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr. Badiyya Hassan Mashi assured that the draft bill would be handed over to the governor for the next line of action.
In his own remarks, the Area Manager of Save Children International (SCI), Nura Muhammad, said 11 states in the North had not adopted the Child Rights Law. He listed the states as Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara and Katsina, adding that the Katsina bill was an upgraded one from Yobe and Kaduna who had their drafts currently before their respective houses of assembly.