Child Rights Act: UNICEF Wants Nigeria To End Abuse Of Children

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A Professor Emeritus faulted govt posture on the implementation of the Child Rights Act, describing it as mere cosmetics.

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday advised Nigeria to end the increasing rate of abuse and violence against children.
Prof. Pai Obanya, a resource person at an advocacy meeting, tagged “Scaling up on mass communication training institutions, mainstreaming child rights report curriculum in Nigeria”, gave the advice in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the advocacy meeting was organised by Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy in collaboration with UNICEF.

Obanya, a Professor Emeritus and the developer of Universal Basic Education (UBE), faulted government posture on the implementation of the Child Rights Act, describing it as mere cosmetics.

He attributed non-compliance on policies bordering on child rights to poor child-sensitive budgeting of government at all levels.

“It doesn’t pay to just say you have a policy on something without specifically putting resources aside for it.

“It relates to taking into account what the declaration says about right to life, protection, health nutrition and self-actualisation.

“Nigeria has a problem of, first of all, not ratifying enough and when it ratifies, it doesn’t really sensitise the populace to know what it is all about.

“And on the part of government, we have not fully implemented the international agreement we entered into on the child’s right,” he said.

Obanla lamented that a child who had not got a chance of equal access to quality education was not likely to have equal access to quality living in later life.

He said that Nigeria and many other African nations, except those in Southern Africa, South Africa itself, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, placed premium on child’s right.

According to the UNICEF Communication Officer, Mrs Blessing Ejiofor, the one-day event  was designed to get more teachers and media practitioners involved in the promotion and protection of the child’s rights.

Ejiofor said that as a matter of profession, the inclusion of the child rights reportage into Mass Communication training institutions and mainstreaming it in their curriculum will help end abuse and violence against children.

Mr Geoffrey Njoku, the UNICEF Communication Specialist, who spoke on the history of child rights reporting in Nigeria, noted that the training would lead to more communication training institutions teaching child rights reporting.

“Students that benefited from rights reporting training will be well equipped and promoting child rights as practising professionals.

“More students of mass communication writing their projects (thesis) on aspects of child rights,” he said.

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