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12 states yet to domesticate law to protect Nigerian children – UNICEF

File photo of children

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that at least 12 states in Nigeria are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Law despite it benefit for children in the country.


The Child Protection Specialist, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Sharon Oladiji, said these states including Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi, Jigawa and Adamawa are yet to pass the Act into law.

Other states yet to pass the law are Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Zamfara, Gombe and Katsina.

Oladiji while speaking in Lagos at a two-day media dialogue on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at 30, some of the set back on the passage of the law include religion and cultural belief whcih are inherent in these states.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations by its resolution of November 20, 1989.

The convention which spells out same meaning for every child around the world took inot consideration, cultural, social economic and political differences and realities of individual states.

The convention also made provision for each state to seek its own means to implement the rights equal and common to all.

Further calling on government at all level to put laws in place to protect the rights of children in Nigeria, Oladiji said such action by the state would encourage implementation of the law with children and the Nigerian economy being the highest beneficiaries.

Oladiji said: “While we try to bring the rights of children to the knowledge of the public, we also encourage these children on the need to know their rights. Adults, teachers and parents need to know why they must adhere to CRL.”

“Children are individual human beings totally dependent on adults. So, as adults, we must be responsible for how they are treated. Healthy development of a child is crucial to the future and well being of any nation.

“Children are special, we cannot treat them anyhow. Views of children are rarely heard, but we should continue to make efforts to change this,” Oladiji said.

Also speaking, UNICEF’s communication officer, Blessing Ejiofor, said all hands must be on deck to ensure that the rights of Nigerian children are protected. Ejiofor said: “We must continue to look for ways and how we can commit more to secure the rights of every child around us.” “We are taking advantage of the CRC30 to renew alliances and inspire broader, movements for children across Nigeria,” Ejiofor said.

In his remark, the deputy director, head (advocacy/CRIB) Child Rights information Bureau, Olumide Osanyinpeju, said commended the states in Nigeria that have domesticated the Child Rights Acts (CRA) and working in the best interest of Nigerian children.

Osanyinpeju said the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human right treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children of which our country Nigeria is part of.

He said the need to uphold the realisation of the rights of children can never be over emphasized. “The situation that stares us in the face is the tall order to bring our people to understand that children reserve as much fundamental rights as the adults, and the need to protect the rights of our children at risk of deprivations of basic social benefits, in exploitative and difficult circumstances and even mortality,” Osanyinpeju said.

He said there is growing evidence that investing in children would ensure national development because the future of any nation lies in the hands of the future generation.

“In this vein, therefore, as we prepare for the commemoration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child at 30, we are called upon to focus on promoting ail opportunities that will help children develop soundly as this connotes a giant stride towards the realization of the fundamental rights of children.

He urged the media to make efforts to ensure that the Nigerian populace think of providing unflinching support for the CRC as the country looks forward to the full realization of children’s rights in all spheres. Meanwhile,

UNICEF previously  said the number of birth registration in Nigeria has increased by 29 million.

An evaluation report of a birth registration programme implemented by the National Population Commission (NPoPC), with support from UNICEF which was launched on Monday, April 15, said registration of children between the ages of zero and 17 years in Nigeria increased by about 29 million.

According to the report, the programme increased the registration of birth for children under age one by more than 100 percent the number of children registered from three million in 2012 to 11 million in 2016.


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