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FG unveils mobile courts to curb bullying, sexual assault in schools

Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, minister of women affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, minister of women affairs,
Women affairs minister - Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye

The federal government has unveiled mobile courts and new guidelines for hotels and schools to ensure speedy access to justice for cases of gender-based violence, sexual assault, and bullying.

NAN reports that Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, the women affairs minister, was at an Abuja partnership meeting with the stakeholders involved.

The stakeholders include representatives from the ministries of health and education, medical facilities, hotel owners, NGOs, and CSOs.

Mobile courts are easily moved from one place to another to adjudicate disputes and administer justice.

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Kennedy-Ohanenye noted the alarming cases of sexual and gender-based violence, child abuse, child labour, harmful practices, and prison congestion in Nigeria.

She decried cases of exposure to alcohol and even death in hotels and bullying/sexual molestation in schools.

The minister also condemned cases where hospitals refuse to treat gunshot patients without police reports.

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She said the enactment of legislation ushering in mobile courts would curtail such menace.

Kennedy-Ohanenye said the courts will usher in guidelines for new operational methods in hotels, hospitals, schools, and NGOs.

Among the guidelines, she said, is the mounting of signposts prohibiting actions that encourage gender-based violence.

The minister said toll-free numbers will also be posted for people to report violations.

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Kennedy-Ohanenye said the objective of the mobile courts includes increasing the speed of deployment and dispensation of justice.

The minister said the courts will also enhance the efficiency of case trials and eliminate harmful practices.

She said they would reduce cases of child labour, out-of-school children, and the employment of underage as house help.

The minister added that they will also tackle the practice of using babies to beg for alms.

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