FG, others urged to uphold, protect rights of Nigerian children

THE Federal, State and Local Governments have been urged to uphold and protect the rights of the Nigerian children.

An international non-governmental organisation (NGO), Save The Children International Nigeria, who made this advice in Abuja during a press briefing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), said domestication of the Child Rights Act in some states was a good step and called for its full implementation.

Its Director of Advocacy and Campaign, Amanuel Mamo, who addressed newsmen said without renewed political commitment, accountability and concrete actions to further implement the (UNCRC), Nigerian children would continue to suffer violations of their rights on a daily basis.

Mamo further implored the governments to recognise a child’s right to be heard (Article 12) and ensure that children were included in a meaningful way in their decision-making process.

“We are calling on governments to define specific actions they will take to ensure further progress is made towards realising the rights of every child with a focus on the most marginalised and deprived.

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“And we are calling on governments to stand up for and follow the rights defined in the UNCRC, particularly where this is most challenging and where children are most vulnerable, such as in situations of armed conflict.

“On this 30th anniversary of the UNCRC, we want to remind the public and political leaders that children have a right to be heard, that they want to speak out and when they engage meaningfully, things change,” Mamo stated.

The Youth Ambassador of the organisation, Maryam Ahmed also urged the governments at all levels to introduce measures that would prevent children from dying from preventable diseases.

She further called on the government to include children in its decision-making process and follow rights defined in the UNCRC, especially in situations of armed conflict, calling on states that have not domesticated the child rights act to do so.

Ahmed said that more than 420 million children in the world are living in conflict zones while over 317 million children were not learning to read or write despite being in school.

“After 100 years, we are still here fighting for our rights to be of importance, we are the most marginalised and deprived group and the ones directly affected by decisions made 5.9 million children are still dying from preventable diseases every year.” She explained.

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