Nigeria Still not Respecting the Rights of Children – FIDA Nigeria

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The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria marks this year’s children’s day celebration with a press statement highlighting the various needs of Nigerian Children which are yet to be met by Government. FIDA charges Government to take the rights of children and their general welfare seriously.

Below is the Statement issued by FIDA Nigeria as she Celebrates Children’s Day, 2017.

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria celebrates the children across the country. It is a day we reflect on children’s education, growth, development, welfare, health, and other issues affecting the Nigerian child. As an organization with a mandate to promote, protect and preserve the rights and welfare of children in Nigeria, the general wellbeing of Nigerian children remain our focus.

Today, we re-examine ourselves to see if we have actually been playing the role we ought to play as adults, parents, guardians and counsellors to the children in our care.

Reports from FIDA branches, partners and stakeholders, media across the country show that Nigerian children are still lagging behind in terms of having their basic needs met and their fundamental rights respected.

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 right are protected. We must increase our advocacy and awareness on the importance of respecting the rights of children.

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.

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.

Signed
Inime Aguma
Country Vice President/National President

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