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UNICEF pushes for state action to end violence against children

The United Nations Children’s Fund has called on states across the country to begin campaigns to end violence against children and adopt the Child Rights…

The United Nations Children’s Fund has called on states across the country to begin campaigns to end violence against children and adopt the Child Rights Act.

Only 24 states have passed the Act since Nigeria adopted it in 2003.

Kano and the FCT launched campaigns to end violence against children on Saturday. Lagos, Cross River, Benue and Plateau States have launched similar campaigns since 2015, and Gombe is expected to do so on June 7.

“Each one of us is responsible for creating a world where children feel safe, protected and empowered to speak up for themselves,” said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

The Fund is using Nigerian Children’s Day as an opportunity to highlight the prevalence of violence against children in the country and measures needed to address it.

Millions of Nigerian children suffer some form of physical, emotional or sexual violence.

A 2014 survey by the National Population Commission found six out of 10 children experience either physical, emotional or sexual violence before they reach 18.

A national plan of action by the federal ministry of women affairs and social development is to set targets and milestones to end violence against children by 2030.

“We call on the state assemblies of the remaining 12 states to urgently pass Child Rights bills and on governors to sign those bills into law. We also call on governors of the 29 states who have not yet launched state-level campaigns to end violence against children to do so,” said Fall.

“And even while we increase our commitments to protect children’s rights, we must work even harder to make these rights a reality for children in Nigeria.”

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