Child Protection: The Taiwo Akinlami’s Approach

Historical Background  

Taiwo Akinlami’s intimate, focused and committed interaction with the cause of Child Protection began 17 (seventeen) years ago when he had presence of mind and serenity of spirit to take a critical look at his life and found that he had been deeply messed by his childhood upbringing and abuse. He surrendered his life to Christ and began the journey of finding healing for his troubled soul.

Therefore his first interaction with Child Protection was not as a practitioner, thinker, trainer or consultant. Having suffered acute physical abuse, dehumanizing emotional abuse, damaging sexual abuse and constant neglect as a child, his adulthood was messed up. When he attained adulthood, he was yet a child. Akinlami learnt from his personal experience of what he called ‘delayed childhood’ that adulthood does not happen by age but by maturity. According to him, maturity simply means to appreciate the universal principles, which God has put in place to govern the affairs of this world and make an informed commitment to adhere to them.

It was in the process of seeking healing that he found Child Protection. How? He found that the main reason why primary and secondary caregivers abuse children is that they are not aware that their number one responsibility to the child is to protect him/her. He also found that for the primary and caregivers to give full expression to the responsibility of child protection, they need knowledge, skills and attitude and for them to acquire the foregoing, they must be taught.

He further discovers that such enlightenment effort must set out to achieve a two-fold result: first to diagnose and bring the message of healing to the primary and secondary caregivers, who are most likely treating their children today, same way they were treated yesterday; secondly, to help today’s primary and secondary caregivers to build a Belief System, which sees the protection of children as a sacrosanct and inevitable responsibility of the primary and secondary caregivers.

The foregoing discoveries gave birth to the Taiwo Akinlami APPROACH to Child Protection.

 

Taiwo Akinlami APPROACH defines Child Protection: Child protection refers to, EVERY step DELIBERATELY and CONSISTENTLY taken by the FAMILY, COMMUNITY, STATE and INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, BASED on KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, GOOD CONSCIENCE, PROMPTNESS, INNER STRENGTH and an UNALLOYED COMMITMENT to the PRESENT and the FUTURE of the CHILD to PROTECT through a FORTIFIED SYSTEM of PREVENTION and EARLY INTERVENTION aimed at PROTECTING the child from ALL FORMS OF ABUSE, NEGLECT, EXPLOITATION, VIOLENCE AND EVERYTHING THAT IS CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, WHETHER THEY APPEAR AS ABUSE OR NOT.

Child’s Rights and Child Protection: The Link

The core of his APPROACH is the philosophy that a people’s experience of childhood upbringing, which forms their prevailing BELIEF SYSTEM, ultimately determines their disposition to children. This BELIEF SYSTEM, which is also known as values and culture must be taken into adequate and compulsory consideration in finding lasting solutions to child protection issues in every part of the world.

Taiwo Akinlami believes that in matters of child protection, the target of all our efforts must be the conscience of the people, with a commitment to stare a revolution, which must change their BELIEF SYSTEM to align with the universal principle of doing all things at all times in the best interest of the child.

As a legal practitioner, who sees the law as an instrument of social change, it is Akinlami’s philosophy that law is an effective tool of child protection. He however strongly believes for the law to be effective in the foregoing order, it must be made to target the conscience of the people through enlightenment, rather than the law being seen as an instrument of enforcement. It is firm and irresistible belief that in matters of child protection, Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement™ of the laws relating to children, their rights and responsibilities. The strength of enlightenment is that it leads to prevention of child abuse. ‘Prevention is better than cure.’

Akinlami further postulates that Enlightenment is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. The goal of enlightenment is Child Protection Social Policing™. Child Protection Social Policing™ happens where every primary and secondary custodian within the four (4) institutions (Family, Community, State and International Community) responsible for the protection of the child are equipped with Knowledge (what to do), Skills (how to do it) and Attitude (wisdom and inner strength) to professionally and effectively protect, preserve and defend the rights of the child, even at the cost of personal discomfort.

Taiwo Akinlami believes that the basis for peace and safety in the society is beyond law enforcement. Law enforcement agents will not always be enough in number and capability to monitor the entire territories of nations, except we are going to have a law enforcement agent to a citizen and their station will be located in the life of the citizen they monitor. Since that cannot be a sane dream to guarantee peace and safety in human communities and even if that becomes a dream, it will be nothing but a laughable utopia, the society must be interested in engaging higher code of human behavior to ensure peace and safety for the society, particularly our dear children.

Akinlami postulates that this higher code of human behavior is known as POSITIVE BELIEVE SYSTEM and the natural enforcement agent of same is the conscious human conscience. According to Benjamin Disreali ‘when men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.’

It is important to note that in his years as Child Protection PRACTITIONER and THINKER, Taiwo Akinlami has come to accept that the soul of the law is the conscious human conscience. He strongly believes that letters of the law can be sometimes too cold that they cannot fan into consistency, the fire in his bones, but at those times where the letters of the law become cold, he is injected with the fire of his article of faith, which resides in his conscious human conscience.

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