June 25, 2018

Children’s Day: What hope for the Nigerian child? (BusinessDay)

Children’s Day: What hope for the Nigerian child? (BusinessDay)

Today is Children’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate the Nigerian child. This day was chosen by Nigeria in response to a call from the United Nations General Assembly to member states, in 1954, to set aside a day to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children, initiate action to benefit and promote world’s children and celebrate childhood. The day is observed as a holiday for primary and secondary school children across the country. Ironically, while children in many parts of the country will be in a celebratory mood, millions of their peers will not be part of the celebration for situations that are no fault of theirs. In the insurgency-ravaged north-east, for instance, over 56 percent of the 1.62 million internally displaced persons in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe Sates are children, according to UNICEF, and the number of children in need of humanitarian assistance as at 2017 was put at 4.4 million. To say that the Nigerian child has not had a fair deal in virtually every aspect of life is to state the obvious. Despite some progress made, issues of child abuse, child labour, child marriage, child prostitution, lack of access to basic education, lack of access to proper health care, malnutrition, extreme poverty, dangers arising from female genital mutilation, among others, still persist in the country. The statistics are sobering. Read more

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