CHILD TRAFFICKING: ECOWAS Parliament Adopts Draft Supplementary Act to Enhance the Powers of Parliament

In an effort to strategize against Child trafficking and Labour, The ECOWAS Parliament unanimously adopted the Draft Supplementary Act on the ECOWAS Parliament which seeks to transform the Parliament from an advisory institution to a lawmaking one.

A Press Statement made available to ImoStateblog.com signed by Mr.Uche Anichukwu, the Special Adviser on media to the Deputy President of the Senate, read as follows:

The ECOWAS Parliament unanimously adopted the Draft Supplementary Act on the ECOWAS Parliament which seeks to transform the Parliament from an advisory institution to a lawmaking one

This followed the conclusion of debate and adoption of the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Enhancement of the Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament during the 2012 First Extra-Ordinary Session of the Parliament in Abuja.

 

Addressing his colleagues, the Speaker of the Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said that the quest for the enhancement of the powers of the Parliament was informed by the need to make it a true legislative institution, noting that a legislature primarily connotes a lawmaking body and that anything to the contrary detracted from the essence of any legislative institution.

Senator Ekweremadu described the Draft Supplementary Act as “detailed, firm, fair, and in conformity with international best standards relating to supranational legislative institutions the world over” even as he saluted members of the ECOWAS Parliament for their courage and sense of sacrifice and history.

He assured that the Draft Supplementary Act would be dispatched to the right quarters without delay, even as an Advocacy Group would be immediately raised to spearhead a buy-in by the decision-making bodies of ECOWAS and various member states, especially the Council of Ministers, Heads of State and Government, respected elder statesmen as well as the National Parliaments of Member States.

Meanwhile, the Parliament has also come down hard on child trafficking and labour, describing both as a twin evil that must be blotted out from the face of the West African sub-region.

Highlighting the Joint Declaration by the ECOWAS Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on the Fight Against Child Trafficking and Labour during the Extra-Ordinary Session, the Speaker of the Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said both legislative bodies “strongly condemned child trafficking and labour and called for vigilance and mobilization for more effective campaign against the menace.”

He further said: “We have reaffirmed the need to ensure that the rights of the child are effectively respected and actively promoted in accordance with extant international and regional standards, conventions, and charters.

“We charged member states that are yet to ratify these instruments to do so in earnest, ensuring that the texts are ratified and incorporated into their respective national legislations.

“We also unequivocally subscribed to the roadmap of The Hague Global Child Labour Conference on the elimination of child labour by 2016 as well as to widespread implementation of the guidelines of the Cotonou Declaration.

“Importantly, we have also pledged to propose the establishment of a common legal environment for combating child trafficking and labour while also supporting, reintegrating, and rehabilitating victims of trafficking” Ekweremadu explained.

The 2012 First Extra-Ordinary Session ended in Abuja on Saturday.

 

 

 

Uche Anichuchukwu

Special Adviser (Media) to Deputy President of the Senate

16/06/12

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