March 24: The Child Protection Culture Day
Statement of Declaration
18 years ago I received a divine mandate to champion the cause of the African Child as it relates to his rights and protection from all forms of abuse. It was at a time when by divine intervention, I began my own journey of restoration from the impact of an abused childhood. My response to the call was immediate, though I had only very little knowledge of what the issues were and the solutions thereof. All I had going for me was my obedience and passion. As time went on, to my obedience and passion, I added knowledge, to my knowledge, I added skills and to my skills, I added attitude.
In no distant time, I began to benefit from divine orchestrations as began to have audiences with individuals and organizations, which are critical to the advancement of the cause of the African Child. In 2005, I began to work with UNICEF as facilitator and consultant. Between then and now, I have worked with many more individual and organizations, which are committed to the cause of the African Child within and outside the shores of the country in which I reside.
Today, after internal consultations with my team and external consultations with friends, comrades and mentors, in response to what I perceive strongly to be a divine instruction, I declared today, Monday, March 24, 2014 as The Child Protection Culture Day. As from today, it is marked every year to call attention to the mandate received 18 years ago: ‘to strengthen the family and protect the child by BRINGING TO THE FRONT BURNER of the conscience and consciousness of individuals, private and public institutions in Africa, the PROTECTION, RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of the child for due respect IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, using as instrumentalities of effectiveness Social Empowerment, Private and Public Enlightenment and Enforcement of existing laws. ’
The state of the African Child today is captured in a recent survey conducted by the United Nations on the state of the world children. The survey sadly reveals that never in the history of our world have our children been under the kind of siege and abuse they are today. The United Nations Survey exposes a shocking picture of physical, emotional, sexual abuses, neglect and mistreatment of children every corner of the countries of the world. The survey declares, ‘while abuse may be at its worst in the developing world, no country is guiltless;’ the foregoing being the summation of the Taiwo Akinlami Approach to Child Protection.
It is a major and disturbing trend in Child Protection, the world over today that children are being mostly and are likely to be mostly abused and denied their rights by those, who are closest to them and by those who claim to protect them, including primary care givers like parents/guardians and secondary care givers like nannies, teachers and others and not by strangers as most people erroneously believe.
The United Nations Survey also reveals ‘International conventions on human rights for children have flatly failed to guarantee protections for the most vulnerable members of society,’
Why has the celebrated national and international legal framework failed woefully to protect our children from abuse? It is my fundamental approach to Child Protection that Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement™. I have come to the irresistible conclusion that the law as an independent tool of child protection is as powerless as a paper tiger. Therefore, for the law to make sense, it must be mixed with enlightenment. It is my informed position that Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement™ of the laws relating to children and their rights. The strength of enlightenment is that it leads to prevention of child abuse. ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ I align myself with the postulation of Benjamin Disreali that ‘when men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.’
Enlightenment is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. The goal of enlightenment is Child Protection Social Policing™. Child Protection Social Policing™ happens where every primary and secondary custodian within the four (4) institutions (Family, Community, State and International Community) responsible for the protection of the child are equipped with Knowledge (what to do), Skills (how to do it) and Attitude (wisdom and inner strength) to professionally and effectively protect, preserve and defend the rights of the child, even at the cost of personal discomfort.
The United Nations recently supported our position that Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement™ as it submits, ‘responding to child abuse cases is four times expensive as child protection and protecting children against violence.
The Child Protection Culture Day seeks to promote the foregoing philosophy and strategy as a CREDIBLE, RESEARCHED, TESTED and VIABLE means of achieving an African Continent fit for children to live in safety and protection.
The inaugural CPCD Annual Conference holds on March 24, 2015. The conference will be a gathering of primary and secondary caregivers, who are committed to best practices in child protection in Africa. If it is a shop at all, it shall be an ACTION SHOP for the protection of the DIGNITY of our CHILDREN and our FUTURE.
I will keep you posted…But note that today, history is being made silently and you are a privileged witness. In no long distance of time, I see the whole world coming together to mark The Child Protection Culture Day and all it represents. I find my authority for this assertion in a divine inspiration: ‘You will also DECREE a thing, and it will be ESTABLISHED for you; and LIGHT will SHINE on your ways.’ Job 22: 28.