The conference is a yearly program organized by Sexual Offences Awareness and Response Initiative (SOAR Initiative) and this year’s conference was supported by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme. This year’s conference held at New Chelsea hotel, Abuja, on 4th December, 2018

The theme of this year’s conference was addressing gaps and challenges that exist in service provision and response to sexually-abused children, including children with disabilities who have been sexually abused. It was a one-day program that brought together service providers from various organizations and stakeholders across the Federal Capital Territory to discuss these issues and challenges and come up with actionable and practical solutions to them in the short- and long-term.

The conference involved 68 participants from organizations and stakeholders involved in tackling child sexual abuse in the FCT and lasted for about 7 hours, from 10am to 4:47pm.

The purpose of the conference was to address the gaps in service provision and response for children who are sexually abused and come up with practical solutions of what could be done to address these gaps and challenges. The essence of these discussions was to hold organizations accountable to provide the services to protect children and care for those children that have gone through sexual and gender-based violence. Another purpose of the conference was to highlight the ways these services could be made more accessible to children with disabilities.

The conference was facilitated by resourceful people both internally and externally. Mr. Taiwo Akinlami, the principal and lead facilitator at Taiwo Akinlami Academy, delivered the keynote address on Leaving No Child Behind in prevention and response to sexual abuse. Irene Patrick-Ogbogu, the ED of the Disability Rights Advocacy Center (DRAC), led a presentation on tailoring SGBV response services to the needs of children with disabilities. The ED of SOAR Initiative, Chinyere Eyoh, delivered a presentation on an assessment of service provision and response in the FCT with a focus on identifying gaps and areas of disconnect.

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