UNICEF Decries Sexual Abuse Against Children, Specifically In North East Nigeria

UNICEF Decries Sexual Abuse Against Children, Specifically In North East Nigeria

By Omos Oyibode | Staff Reporter on May 28, 2016
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FILE: Children at the IDP Camp, Kano |TFAA Photo

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Friday, May 27, 2016 said that violence, sexual abuse, forced marriages against children in the North East is at an alarming rate.  Specifically the international agency mentioned the use of children as suicide bombers by the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram.

In a children’s day message by UNICEF, the international body expressed worries over the increasing rate of violation of children’s rights, insisting that Nigerian children, from survey conducted, have suffered various degrees of violence which have affected their wellbeing in various spheres of life.

According to Daily Post, the world body observed that children in the North east of Nigeria have witnessed and continued to witness grave violations of their rights which include killings, abductions, sexual abuse, child labour, maintaining that more than 1.2million children have been displaced where more than half of them are less than 5 years of age.

In a children’s day message by UNICEF titled “Protect the rights of the child in the face of violence and insecurity: End child marriage”, and signed by Nigeria’s representative, Jean Gough, UNICEF said besides the North east of the country, children living outside the zone are also prone to violence and abuse by the adult world.

The body which attempts at shedding light on the unprecedented level of violence against children in Nigeria, said half of all children in Nigeria experience physical violence, one in four girls and in ten boys experience sexual violence and one in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence before climbing age 18.

“This year’s Children’s Day offers the opportunity to highlight the significant pledges made by the federal government, non-governmental organisations, religious groups and the media to join hands to end violence against children, and call for renewed efforts by all stakeholders to turn the commitments they made into action for children.

“Progress has been made. Lagos was the first state to heed the president’s call, launching their own campaign and priority actions in February 2016. Cross River will be the second in June 2016. Bayelsa State domesticated the Child Rights Act.

“Nine states, with funding from USAID and the European Union, have joined together to develop a model child protection system in order to translate this essential act into reality. 12 states held #iMarch4Children marches to raise societal awareness on the prevalence and impact of violence against children. There is no better time than today to take action than now. Together, let’s end violence against children,” UNICEF said

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