Executive Director, Adinya Arise Foundation, Mabel Ade, has suggested some measures that the incoming administration of President-elect Bola Tinubu can adopt to protect and cater for the welfare of Nigerian children.
She made this known in a statement in commemoration of May 27—Children’s Day on Saturday.
Her recommendations followed a data from UNICEF in 2022 that over 18 million Nigerian children are out of school and the country has one of the highest under-five mortality rates in the world, with 858,000 children dying every year from preventable causes.
According to UNICEF, in 2023 alone, over 10 million children in Nigeria are out of school, and a significant percentage of these children are engaged in child labour. Child trafficking is another persistent issue, with Nigeria being a source, transit, and destination country for child trafficking.
According to her, the administration at both the states and federal levels should prioritise child protection by “ensuring a comprehensive and enforceable legal framework that safeguards children from all forms of exploitation and violence”.
She also asked for the country’s education system to be re-envisioned to address disparities and make education relevant and aligned with job market realities.
To cater to the health needs of children, she called for a revamp of the healthcare services and to ensure accessibility for all, particularly for our children.
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The child rights advocate also urged the government to prioritise the implementation of policies aimed at combating child trafficking, sexual abuse, substance abuse and supporting victims.
She also canvassed for investment in community policing and other modern security measures to keep Nigerian children safe in their schools, homes, and public spaces.
To teachers and school administrators, she emphasised the need to foster a safe and inclusive environment for all children and added that they should be vigilant and proactive in identifying and reporting any form of abuse.
She said civil society and non-governmental organizations can play a pivotal role in raising awareness, advocacy, and providing support services through collaboration with the government and other stakeholders to push for reforms and ensure accountability.
She called on the media to enlighten the public, exposing abuses, and holding the powerful accountable.
For the parents, she advised them to pay “close quality attention to the children’s needs in addition to the expectation from society for a safe and nurturing environment where our children can thrive”.
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