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Let’s raise aggressive campaigns against sexual exploitation in schools, villages – NGOs

Ukeme Ekong

By Akpan David, Calabar

Association of NGOs Working with Orphans and Vulnerable Children (AOON) has cried out over what they describe as alarming extent of sexual exploitation in schools and rural communities.

They have called on Nigerians to embark on aggressive campaigns to create awareness against it.

Head of the Association, Asi Archibong opined that awareness campaigns need to be extended to the hinterlands where sexual abuses and exploitations are prevalent to stem the increase.

In an interview in Calabar, Cross River State capital,  Asi said, “We need to scale up the level of awareness with regards to available legal means to protect the vulnerable population and prosecute offenders. Such awareness, she added, will also serve as a deterrent to potential culprits.”

Asi posited that “creating awareness is key to spreading the clear message of zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women and girls. It’s also key to informing victims of their rights and the support services available to them.”

Other stakeholders who also featured in the interview, including Chairperson of Network To Sexual Abuse (NETCUSA), Comrade Ukeme Ekong, expressed disturbing views over sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment around educational institutions and workplaces.

They have advocated for massive enlightenment campaigns to sensitize the populace against the menace.

“Such aggressive campaigns have become imperative to educate the vulnerable population about existing legislations meant to checkmate such excesses.

“such a step will also go a long way to curtail incidences by arming the masses with the necessary information needed to tackle the issue.

“The challenge at hand is that most of our people are not even  aware of this and this promotes the culture of silence thereby encouraging them  to continue in their dastardly acts,” Ukeme said.

The gender focal officer, Ministry of Health, Cross River State, Felicia Ayim said plans are underway for a massive enlightenment exercise across the three senatorial districts as a means of scaling up efforts targeted at tackling sexual exploitations, abuse, harassment and all forms of gender-based violence.

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