Children’s Day: Group wants implementation of child rights laws in Nigeria

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (M) with some selected FCT School Children during their visit to the Acting President at the Presidential Villa Abuja to commence the activities marking the 2017 Children Day Celebration in Abuja on Friday (26/5/17)

The international federation of women lawyers, FIDA, has called on the Nigerian government to address the infrastructural challenges militating against the future of Nigerian child, as the nation joined the rest of the World to mark the 2017 children’s day on May 27.

FIDA in a statement signed by its country director, Inime Aguma, called on all state governments in Nigeria to adopt the Child Rights Act, 2003 as well as the Violence against Persons Prohibition, VAPP, Act 2015.

“It is a day we reflect on children’s education, growth, development, welfare, health, and other issues affecting the Nigerian child,” the organisation said.

“FIDA Nigeria calls on its members, partners and stakeholders to continue educating and sensitizing the public on the Child Rights Act, 2003 and the VAPP Act 2015 as well as working towards adoption of the relevant laws protecting the children in various states. The Judiciary and Security agencies are also encouraged to enforce implementation of laws protecting the child.

“Children’s Day, 2017 is therefore another opportunity for us to call upon Federal and State government as the upper guardian of the child, to look into the affairs of our children nationwide with a view to addressing the teeming issues that have left Nigeria without a future in its children. Nigeria has enacted the Child Rights Act, 2003. We call upon those states that are yet to enact state Laws in line with this Act to do so.

“Those states that have laws protecting child rights/Child Rights Act in place must ensure effective implementation.

The group also called on northern leaders to closely address the many challenges resulting from the Boko Haram insurgency that has adversely affected children in the area.

“In the northern part of Nigeria, a lot of children are out of school as a result of insecurity issues that ravaged the region. Many other children suffer from diseases such as malnutrition, meningitis, cholera, HIV etc. as a result of poor health care. Reports also have it that greater number of children suffer sexual violence, abuse, domestic violence and torture on daily basis. While some others are victims of human trafficking.

“As adults, parent and guardians, it is our duty to ensure that the children’s rights are protected. We must increase our advocacy and awareness on the importance of respecting the rights of children.

“It is necessary as a country (a State) signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1990 and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 1999, to ensure that the rights and welfare of our children are realized and adequately catered for.”

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