As Nigeria joins the rest of the African continent to celebrate the 2018 Day of the African Child, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu Esq has called for the prioritization of child rights issues in both national and state budgets.
The NHRC Chief Executive Officer made this statement in Abuja at an event organized by the Commission in collaboration with PLAN international and National Council of Child Rights Advocates of Nigeria (NACCRAN) to commemorate the Day.
The Commission’s helmsman stated that adequate provisions should be made in both national and state budgets for the protection and welfare of children especially in emergency situation to guard against all forms of abuses.
The NHRC boss observed that despite the passage of the Child Right's Act 2003 and its adoption in 25 states, as well as several legislations legally protecting the child, Nigeria like many other African countries had continued to grapple with an inherently high incidence of child rights abuse.
He stated that with the intersecting poverty and culture, abuse and relegation of child rights issues has become so endemic and visible in our society.
According to him there are fundamental issues affecting the child ranging from street hawking to child marriage, female genital mutilation, child trafficking, child labour and other violent treatments meted against the child.
The Executive Secretary therefore called for a speedy signing of the National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Bill 2018 to ensure that those who violate the rights of this vulnerable group are punished in accordance with the law.
He urged the relevant stakeholders to drive the process of implementation of the Child's Rights Act and its adoption in states that have not done so.
The Day of the African Child is celebrated on June 16th annually and the theme of this year's commemoration is "Leave no Child Behind for Africa's Development".
Corporate Affairs Department