Nigeria: Child Rights Act - Non-Implementation Worries UNICEF

Bauchi, Nigeria 22 December 2010 — The United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) has appealed to Governments and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country to give maximum support for the promotion of Child rights.

The organisation made the call while expressing worry over some state Governments' alleged refusal in setting up implementation committee on the Child Rights Act as required by the law.

UNICEF made the appeal through its Communication Officer (Media & External Relations) Bauchi Field Office, Mr. Samuel Kaalu, during the recent three-day Media training on ethical reporting and child rights advocacy for select journalists in the print and electronic media from the zone held in Kano.

Kaalu said that media has a role to play on issues related to children and their rights in the society, adding that there is general distress among children, particularly those who have been abandoned by their parents and those who lost their parents, a result that forced them to indulge into street begging, hawking and other unwarranted activities in the society.

He stresses the need for the government in all level to support the fight for the right of child protection.

The UNICEF Specialist said children in any society are entitled and guaranteed by law applicable to human rights, which aimed at providing enabling environment for survival, development, protection, participation.

He pointed out that, "Our children deserve these rights in view of their limited capacity to grow by themselves, but depend totally on not only their parents, care givers, or where not available, government."

He stressed that free education, cultural activities, access to information, freedom of thought, safeguard against unemployment, infant mortality amongst others, are supposed to be the rights for children, but to his dismay, thousands of children under the age of 18 have been deprived of these privileges

He said no fewer than ten million children are out of school, adding that UNICEF alone cannot cater for these challenges, unless government, NGOs and stakeholders intervene in that direction.

Kaalu expressed satisfaction with the media in partnering with UNICEF. According to him, without the media, the society would have witnessed a lot of social vices, indiscipline, and illiteracy among the younger children who could be the future of tomorrow.

Source: AllAfrica.com

He then charged all participants to utilise the opportunity derived from the workshop, so that they will contribute to their own quota to the development and social upbringing of the younger generation.

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