The Lagos State Government has advised parents and school owners to call *6820# emergency number to report cases of sexual abuse or domestic violence in the state.
Mrs Ronke Soyombo, Director-General, Office of the Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
Soyombo said the department would attend to any call within 24 hours, and would rescue victims.
According to her, the department evacuates victims and put them in shelter homes pending the determination of the case.
The director-general noted that the state had a court for domestic violence and response team.
“In Lagos State, when you type *6820#, it is on sexual offence, and we try as much as possible to work within our service-level available agreement, which is 24 hours.
“Within 24 hours, we will get there and take action.
“We have had cases where we remove children and made them to sleep in shelter home to secure their lives.
The children might have been abused by the stepfather at home. While some might have been abused by the driver or house helps.”
Soyombo said the department worked in collaboration with other agencies on domestic and sexual violence in the state.
“In order to expedite action, Lagos State is the only state that has a court for domestic violence and response team.
“We work with many other agencies like the Rapid Response Team and the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development; every part of the collaboration is very clear with its roles and responsibilities,” she said.
Soyombo urged private school owners in the state to adapt the Lagos State Government template on child protection and safeguarding policy 2016.
The director-general noted that the policy was to protect children against domestic and sexual violence.
She said that the state had given a template to schools. She noted that it was left for the school management to go through it. The schools should also to adapt it to suit the needs of their children.
Soyombo said that the management should train all stakeholders working within the four walls of the school.
“Schools should also train all stakeholders working in the school. These include the security, cleaners and food vendors, because everybody must be fully safeguarded.
“Everybody must be trained. There must be a clear person that every child can speak to; should anything happen to him or her,” she said.