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Caption: L-R: Functioning Director, Department of Child Development, Mrs. Bello Kate; Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Hon. Maria Edeko, and Desk Officer, Department of Child Development, Mr. Isaiah Osigbemhe, at an event to commemorate the 2022 International Street Children, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

International Day for Street Children: Obaseki assures inclusion, reforms to protect vulnerable children

The Edo State Government has reiterated its commitment to prioritising the wellbeing of vulnerable persons in Edo State, sustaining reforms in education, the legal system and other social structures to ensure that they are better protected and provided with the opportunity to live life to the fullest.

The Edo State Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Maria Edeko, gave the assurance in commemoration of the 2022 International Street Children with the theme, ‘Louder together.’

Edeko reassured that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government will sustain programmes and reforms to ensure that every child in Edo has the opportunity to live a complete, healthy, and dignified life.

The commissioner said the government has launched the Edo State Protection Policy to protect street children and other vulnerable persons in the state.

She noted, "The Edo State Government is touched by the feelings of our children on the streets and is making every necessary preparation, as well as taking actions to ensure that our children are taken off the streets, guaranteeing that they are well catered for and get all the love and protection they desire.

"This celebration is therefore in no way suggestive of celebrating the fact that these children are on the streets, rather it is a reminder to us that these children are ours irrespective of the circumstance. They are worthy to be celebrated and heard just as every child.

"It is sad and greatly touches the heart of His Excellency, Mr. Governor Godwin Obaseki, as well as other stakeholders what these innocent and tender children have to go through in weathering the raging storms of life. These children are exposed to various forms of gender abuses and ominous situations.”

Edeko added, “Even more regretful is how some persons take advantage of the helplessness of these children for their selfish gains, unperturbed by what they are subjected to day in, day out. They are often denied education, health care and basic human rights.

"The ministry also uses this avenue to appeal to the good conscience of the good citizens of our dear state to desist from maltreating these children but rather show them warmth, kindness and help them to get the necessary help they need.”