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.