Minister says 34 states, FCT, have domesticated VAPP Act, urges diligent implementation – Veloxnews

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Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, says 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015 to curb incessant cases of violence across states.Tallen, who said this during the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Ministerial Forum in Abuja, added that 32 states have also domesticated the Child Rights Act (CRA) 2003.She said the acts would help in reducing the menace of violence, especially Gender-Based Violence (GBV), ensure perpetrators are prosecuted, provide support to survivors and protect the rights of women, girls and children and men too.The minister attributed the increasing cases of GBV to delay in getting justice and urged relevant stakeholders to expedite action toward investigation and prosecution of such cases to ensure justice is served in good time.She also urged authorities to utilise the DNA Forensic Laboratory in Adamawa, the first of its kind in the country, to verify specimen of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).She added that “SGVB still persists because we seem to have a problem with the justice system; justice delayed is justice denied. We are appealing to the justice system to act fast.“Already, international development partners have done so well in the area of ensuring that we have a forensic lab.“It is the first of its kind in the whole of West Africa, located in Adamawa to help test and verify every specimen of Gender-Based Violence.“The North East suffered most in insurgency and Boko Haram issues, and that is why the choice of Adamawa was made to help address the problems we are having due to all forms of violence and rape cases.”According to her, a lot of advocacy is being done and there have been success stories around the VAPP Act.She added that “when I assumed office, there were only 12 states that domesticated the VAPP Act.“But today, I am proud to say that we have 34 states that have domesticated the VAPP Act; we have only two states left and by the grace of God before I leave office, those two states will domesticate the act.“The same thing with the Child Rights Act. So far since I assumed office, we have upscaled the number, we now have 32 states that have domesticated the act, with only four states left.”She, therefore, urged the states that have domesticated both the VAPP and CRA acts to diligently implement them to protect the rights of women and children.She said “I want to emphasise that it is not all about domesticating these acts; it is the implementation that is very important.“When you domesticate a law and you don’t implement, it is as good as nothing. So, we are appealing to our governors to ensure that both the VAPP and CRA acts are fully implemented.“If they are implemented, no child will be on the streets, the girl-child will be in school,” she said.Tallen also called on the justice system to ensure that proper punishment commensurate with the offence was meted out to perpetrators to serve as deterrent to others and reduce cases of such menace.“Without the court passing judgment that will be commensurate with the crime, it will keep reccurring in our communities,” she added.The minister, who decried the culture of silence following an abuse or violence against a woman or girl due to fear of stigmatisation, said “if you cover up a GBV case, you are worsening the situation because you are allowing that child to remain in perpetual agony because the child is dying in silence and a child that is raped can never be the same.“It is a mental stigma that remains with the victims all their lives.” (NAN)



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