The Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, said 20 abandoned children were rescued in 2018 and handed over to children facilities for proper care.
Ashia Yusuf, the officer in charge of Children and Family, Department of Social Welfare, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mrs Yusuf said that some of the children were abandoned by unknown parents, while others by known parents who were unable to care for them because of hardship.
“We have cases of abandoned children, but because we do not have facilities to keep them, we took them to where they can properly take care of them.
“ Some children were abandoned on the streets, while some were brought in by their parents to give them up to foster parent who they believe can take proper care of them,’’ she said.
According to her, in 2018 about five house helps that were maltreated by their guardians were also rescued.
“Some good neighbours came to inform us of children that were being maltreated and we immediately rescued them”, she said.
She said the department partners some international organisations that were concerned with child welfare and they are helping in addressing some of these issues.
Mrs Yusuf said when it comes to enforcement of law to protect the child; the department also provides shelter and finances needed to go to court if the child has been violated sexually.
“One of the children rescued in 2018 was heavily beaten, another was violated sexually by the husband of the `madam’ and the last one had hot oil poured on her by the madam.
“We took the children to the hospital and made sure they were taken good care off.
“We enrolled them in schools after treatment and then we relocated them back to their parents and empowered them”, she said.
She however advised parents that give their children out to be careful, and urged them to devote time in training their children themselves rather than handing them over to other people.
“Government schools are not expensive, parents should enroll their children and one day these children would make them proud”, she said.
She said that the department had established girls’ club known as “Speak Out’’, where the children could say what is on their mind in case they have experienced any assaults.
“Most of these children are sexually abused and they cannot talk about it, but we have clubs in schools and community where they can come and speak out about some of the issues they are going through,” she said.