FG warns hotel owners against lodging underage girls

 

By John Ogunsemore

The Federal Government has directed hotel owners in the country to deploy “No Underage Girl or Children is allowed for lodging in hotels” inscription in their facilities.

Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister (Mrs) Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye gave the directive when she met with relevant stakeholders cutting across educational institutions, hotel management, hospital facilities and Non-Governmental Organisations in her office on Thursday, according to a Friday statement issued by the Head, Information and Public Relations of the ministry, Mrs. Grace Njoku.

According to the statement, the minister said this was part of safeguards meant to address issues related to child abuse and sexual harassment amongst others.

She emphasised the Federal Government’s determination to ensure the protection of the rights and privileges of women, children and the vulnerable in society.

The minister stated that the meeting was imperative, especially as it would provide the opportunity to brainstorm on the way forward towards bringing an end to the alarming increase on issues relating to child labour and abuse, sexual molestation among others.

Kennedy-Ohanenye who expressed dismay at the constant harassment of children through various forms of bullying, observed that this affects their psychological and physical development and is thus capable of preventing them from attaining their optimal capacity as future leaders of the nation.

While unveiling the safeguards which she said should be placed in schools, hotels and hospitals, Kennedy-Ohanenye called on the management of various health institutions to partner with the Federal Government in its commitment, not only to end sexual and gender based issues, but also give prompt attention to emergency cases in order to protect the lives of citizens.

“These safeguards, she said, include inscriptions at these service centres namely, ‘No Under Aged Girl or Children is allowed for lodging in hotels’, ‘No bullying allowed in Schools’, ‘No sex for grades’, ‘No rejection of emergency patients by hospitals’ respectively,” the statement reads in part.

Kennedy-Ohanenye stated that to ensure quicker dispensation of justice for perpetrators of these crimes, the ministry would collaborate with the State Chief Judges and Attorneys General to finetune the modalities for the launch of the mobile court starting with the pioneer States of FCT, Anambra and Osun.

She urged the stakeholders to collaborate with government by ensuring strict compliance with the new regulations to ensure the safety and protection of women and children in the country,

The minister also released phone numbers to be contacted when any of the rules were breached to enable the law take its cause on the perpetrators.

Participants at the Partnership Meeting were drawn from the Ministries of Education and Health, Owners of Schools, Hotels, Health facilities, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

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