The UFUK dialogue initiative on Monday organised a two-day international conference to promote children’s rights and privileges in Nigeria.
The organisation invited experts on family and children’s rights from 18 different countries to deliberate and profer solutions to he abuse of the rights of children.
Speaking at the event, Kamil Kemanchi, the president of UFUK Dialogue Initiative, said the organisation, determined to advance the rights of children, decided to initiate a discourse on the realisation of the right and capabilities of children.
“UFUK Dialogue intends to open the ground for an academic discussion for the full realization of the rights and capabilities of children,” she said.
Ayse Yigit, the coordinator of women affairs of UFUK Dialogue said UFUK dialogue understands the role of the community and family in the lives of children so brought 18 experts to provide intellectual answers to some of the burning issues that concern children, and the various factors inhibiting their progress in the society.
“UFUK Dialogue has been in the forefront of promoting peaceful co-existence among Nigerians. This year, we decided to do something different, which is looking at the family and family value system,” she said.
“This conference is well-intended and highly useful. We all know that the family is the first place of contact for children and whatever they become is always a product of the influence of family,” she stated.
The conference, which held at the main auditorium of the Nile University of Nigeria, had in attendance, students, parents and guardians; representations from the government, private sector, religious organizations, civil society organizations and intellectual communities.
Aisha Buhari, the wife of the president, was represented by Mauro Al-Makur, the wife of the governor of Nasarawa state. She spoke on the need for children to be accorded their pride of place in the society.
Also speaking at the event was Binta Masi Garba, chairman, senate committee on women affairs. She said that “it is essential that a child must be helped, supported and protected against labour exploitation, violence, kidnapping, ill-treatment, molestation, and we all have a role to play”.
Another speaker at the event was Yusuf Ozdemir, adjunct professor of education at the Meviana Rumi University, Turkey. He delivered a paper titled “Home Visit’s Effect on Child’s Behavior and Academic Improvement.
“The status of the child at home and the communication typeset by the parents are two of the major factors that affect the child’s success. In a family, centered socialization process, children gain more skills and manners from which they draw behaviors and patterns that they must pursue. Therefore, it is crucial that family lives support school lives,” Ozdemir said.
Also, Tawanda Runhare of the department of educational foundations of the University of Venda, South Africa, delivered a paper on the traditional child rearing beliefs and parenting styles and the implication on human developmental needs.
“Poor parental upbringing, especially erratic parental discipline, parental rejection or low parental involvement in the life of the child can be predictors of social maladjustment or anti-social behavior of the child in the future,” he said.
Hans Ucko, the co-chair of the Council for Prayer and Action for Children New York, in his presentation – “The Family and the Convention on the Rights of the Child”, spoke on how the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) underscores the important role of the family in raising the child and in respecting and protecting children’s rights”.
He harped on the roles and duties of the government in supporting the family, and the potential role of religious leaders and faith communities as advocates for children’s rights.
UFUK Dialogue Initiative was founded in 2011 in Nigeria with the mission to foster interfaith and intercultural dialogue, stimulate thinking and exchange of opinions on supporting and fostering democracy and peace all over the world and to provide a common platform for education and information exchange.
The International Family Conference is a biennial international academic conference organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF), which holds general consultative status at UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Its aim is to stimulate interdisciplinary and cross-national collaborations and approach to various family issues.
“At JWF, we think sharing best practices from all over the world and expanding on those best examples for family policies is crucial to keep the family in the core of women empowerment and human rights discussions,” says Nuray Yurt, the vice president of JWF. “I would like to express gratitude to UFUK Dialogue Initiative and Nigeria for hosting the 2016 International Family Conference,” she added.