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NHRC: FG, states should focus more attention on tackling high rates of child abuse

NHRC: FG, states should focus more attention on tackling high rates of child abuse
June 17
09:55 2022

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says the country is still battling with high rates of child abuse despite the passage of the child rights act.

Tony Ojukwu, executive secretary of the commission, said this on Thursday in commemoration of the 2022 Day of the African Child.

The Day of the African Child is celebrated on June 16 every year to commemorate the children murdered in Soweto, South Africa, by security operatives during a protest against the poor state of education in 1976.

Ojukwu said poverty has pushed many Nigerian children to the streets, with no access to education or health care services.

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According to him, adequate budgetary provisions for child rights issues “will help to implement laws and policies that will make the necessary impact in all the stages of child development, and thus guarantee the future of our children towards becoming responsible citizens”.

“As Nigeria joins the rest of the African continent to celebrate the 2020 Day of the African Child, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged government at all levels to focus more attention on the rights and well-being of children, to eliminate all barriers standing on their way to attaining an all-round development,” he said.

“The 2022 theme of DAC, ‘Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy and Practice Since 2013’, is apt as it reminds the government and other stakeholders of the need to ensure a safe and secure environment for children, which of course should be devoid of child labour, child marriage, street hawking, child trafficking, female genital mutilation, denial of education, poor parental/guardian care, etc.

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“Despite the passage of the Child Rights 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.”

The executive secretary said more attention should be focused on the rights and welfare of children in the country.

He also urged the government to encourage the adoption of the child rights act across states.

Sokoto, Katsina and Borno recently assented to the child protection act, while eight more states are yet to domesticate the law.

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