The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Tuesday, exonerated homes of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) from involvement in child factory, rather the body, through its Communication Officer, Media and External Relations, Blessing Ejiofor, blamed maternity homes and other homes as culprits of child factory business.
UNICEF said no government organ or international agency had criminalised TBAs as responsible for child sales, saying TBAs have become part and parcel of society, hence, rather than blackmail them, they should be trained and educated on best practices.
Ejiofor, who was on a tour to Delta from the UNICEF office in Lagos, and was hosted to a media interactive session in Asaba, Delta State capital, said women visit the TBAs for various reasons and since they can’t be barred from operations, it becomes imperative to assist them in the best way possible.
She told a team of editors and journalists that women are delivering successfully at TBAs but condemned giving birth to children without birth registration, adding that birth registration was the first right of children.
She said UNICEF, as an international agency, has no constitutional right to take up the job of government and its agencies in any tier of government, but, according to her, the international agency supports government to build institutions to support better living for children.
She said though the Children Right Bill has been signed into law, cultural and religious differences still exist in many societies, hence child marriage and other obnoxious acts prohibited by the Child Right Law are still being carried out in local communities.
According to her, “we, at UNICEF, are so passionate about children’s rights, anything that concerns children,” saying for the wellbeing of children, media organisations should hold policy makers accountable from views expressed by children.
She called on media organisations to give audience to children so that they could voice their views over issues of national, social and economic significance.
“UNICEF is about children. We are mothers of children. From pregnancy to delivery, we are involved. We are involved also in upbringing of children because children are our focal point in our daily activities at UNICEF,” she said.