As the world commemorates the 30th anniversary of the convention on the rights of the child, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said that the rights of millions of children in Nigeria are being violated every day.
UNICEF Representative to Nigeria, Peter Hawkins in an open letter to the Nigeria’s child, lamented that despite the enormous progress realized, there are still millions of children in the world whose rights are not fully respected and protected.
Hawkins read the letter at the event of the National Children’s Arts Science and Technology with the theme: “Promoting unity and innovations in youths as agents of change through science and arts” in Abuja.
He said that “too many children are still subjected to violence, discrimination or exploitation and hunger; have not been able to go to school, especially girls. And too many of you are robbed of your childhood due to conflict and insecurity. You may be one of them.
‘With conflicts, crises and crushing poverty putting millions of children’s lives and future at risk, protecting child rights is more urgent than ever and a critical key to building stronger and more stable societies.
“We need to stop these violations by investing more in reaching the most vulnerable children, or pay the price in slower growth, greater inequality, and less stability.”
While calling on those in authority to take action on issues that will have positive impact on the lives of children, Hawkins stressed the need to fight poverty as well as ensure that no child is subjected to any form of violence.
Hawkins added that the fulfilment of child rights and the successes of the global goals go hand in hand and that one cannot be achieved without the other.
“Fulfilment of your rights also depends on leaders taking action on issues that will affect your lives; fighting poverty, ensuring that children have access to quality healthcare, nutritious food, clean water and a good education, and that no child is subjected to violence, exploitation or abuse.
“The roadmap for this action is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals- a global agreement to pursue a more equal, prosperous, safe and sustainable world for all people and the planet. Young people like you are also taking action on these global goals,” he added.