By OKORO CHINEDU
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United States have welcomed moves taken by the Nigerian government to end violence against children.
The commendation by the UN entity follows the launch of the Year of Action to End Violence Against Children.
President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the initiative in response to the high rates of violence revealed in the Nigeria Violence Against Children Survey, released last week.
Announcing the launch of the year-long campaign to end violence against children, the President said, “This is a historic day. A day when Nigeria stands up and says to our children – we commit to protecting you from violence.”
UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Jean Gough, said Government and its partners were to be congratulated on their commitment to end violence against children.
“UNICEF will continue to support Nigeria in its efforts to ensure that children are protected from sexual, physical and emotional violence,”Gough said.
US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim, Maria Brewer, said they had made progress in this fight but much still remains to be done.
“All children must be protected from abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect. Violence against children is never justified. Violence is preventable,” Brewer said.
Millions of children suffer violence every year in Nigeria.
Approximately 6 out of every 10 children under the age of 18 years experience some form of physical, emotional and sexual violence before the age of 18 years, according to the Nigeria Violence Against Children Survey, carried out by the National Population Commission, with support from UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The survey found that one in two children experience physical violence; one in four girls and one in ten boys experience sexual violence; and one in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence.
It is said the majority of children do not tell anyone what has happened to them and fewer than five per cent receive the help they need to recover.
– CAJ News