The need to protect the rights of Nigerian children and ensure adequate care and support for the those who are disadvantaged, prompted the Civil Society Organizations, led by WOTCLEF, to come together in 2003 to initiate a Network that will promote the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of children and the Africa Charter on the Rights of children.
The need for a Civil Society Network to coordinate the civil society and community response was made more urgent and poignant by the increased rate of child trafficking, child labour and child abuse. Again, in order to attain the millennium development goals, this issue has to be tackled urgently. Seeing the need in the communities and understanding the impact that the Civil Society could have on stemming the tide of child abuse and trafficking, WOTCLEF with the support of UNICEF sought and brought together CSOs working in the focused thematic areas of child abuse, child labour and trafficking. The first meeting of the Civil Society Organizations was held at Benin City, Edo state in 2003.
NACTAL envisions a society committed to respect and protection of the rights of the child and reversing all forms of victimization perpetrated through child trafficking, labour and abuse, thus enabling dignity of the person and the overall human development on Nigeria.
The membership of NACTAL is open to all civil society organizations working in the area of protection of the rights of children. Presently NACTAL has thirty six registered member organizations spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
NACTAL leadership are made up of men and women with passion, strong commitment and vast experience in the area of child’s rights protection issues. The present leadership is made up of a board of trustee headed by Professor Bolaji Owasanoye. The National Executive Council (NEC) is headed by Ustaz Amin O. Igwegbe. The six zones of the country also have zonal coordinators.
UNICEF is the biggest partner as well as the mother of the network. We as well work closely with National Agencies for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Nigeria Police, Nigeria Custom services, Les Terre Des Hommes, Federation of Beninese (FEBEN) and others.
NACTAL aspires to more effectiveness in the areas of child abuse, child labour and child trafficking. We desire to ensure that Nigeria maintains the present status of tie one and mobilize more people to be involved in the fight against child abuse, labour and trafficking in Nigeria. The rural communities need to be reached and educated on the issues of trafficking, therefore, NACTAL plans to empower more community based organizations to tackle the menace of trafficking and ensure adequate protection of all children. All the above cannot be achieves all alone, therefore we need more collaboration of UNICEF to achieve them all.