End Violence Against Children was the theme that dominated activities of the previous week, where The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Plateau State Government (PLSG), synergised to end child abuse.
The three days event was capped with an official launch to signify that ‘Now Is The Time To Act’ against any form of abuse on children.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the UNICEF Country Director in Nigeria, Dr. Gianfranco Rotiliango, laud Plateau State Government for being the second state in the North Central and the fourth State in Nigeria to join the Campaign.
Represented by the Chief Field Officer, UNICEF Nigeria, Dr. Abdulai Kaikai, the Country Director noted that violence against children affects millions of children every year in Nigeria, which survey has revealed that six out of every ten children suffer one or more forms of physical, sexual and emotional violence and that nine million children suffer sexual violence every year.
However, congratulating Plateau for joining in the fight against child abuse, UNICEF pledged to support the State Government in its efforts to fight all forms of violence against children.
Also in her remark, the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Rufina Gurumyen, stated that the alarming rate of child violence in Plateau, necessitated the support the State is deriving from UNICEF and consequently the choice of launching the campaign in the State.
Responding, Governor Simon Lalong stated that if concerted efforts are not made to minimize the train of violence against children, the future generation will look bleak, as global surveys has indicated that violence against children is on the increase with debilitating consequences on the physical, social, psychological and the mental development of the victims.
Lalong who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, noted that fighting violence against children can only be won when it is collectively fought.
His words, “as government, we have demonstrated the political will to address violence against children by first, domesticating the Child’s Right Law which is tailored towards providing social security for children”.
Lalong is also quoted saying that to minimise violence against women and children, government has designated family courts to address issues of violence which are not often treated with the required speed in the conventional courts.