The Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), has joined other African countries to commemorate this year’s edition of the Day of the African Child (DAC) with the theme, ‘Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa,’
The Director, Overseeing the Office of the Director-General, Mrs. Osaro Osayande urged stakeholders at all levels to put in place effective measures to curb the rising cases of sexual violence in Nigeria.
She said “ this year’s celebration calls for serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges facing children across the continent.
As we felicitate with African children, CBAAC enjoins parents and stakeholders to provide children with appropriate education which is a human right and children deserve a good education to be successful in life and they should say ‘No to Rape for a Better Africa!’
According to her, “ The Pan African and cultural organisation wishes to lend its voice, against all forms of sexual violence, including rape just as The Centre is in support of the implementation of a Child-friendly justice system across the continent. Rape is a traumatic experience which causes psychological, emotional and physical pains to its victims, together with its adverse effect.
“ As a cultural agency, CBAAC has in the past raised its voice against societal ills that negates the good tenets of African cultural values, through its numerous children’s programmes.
Indeed, this year’s DAC celebration calls for serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges facing children across the continent.
Osayande recalled June 16, 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, thousands of black school children took to the streets to protest discriminatory education policies by the South African government and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of them were shot, and in the two weeks of protests that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand injured.
Hence, DAC serves to commemorate these children and the brave action they took to claim their right as well as celebrate the entire children of Africa who have endured one form of challenges or the other in the course of their growth.
Three decades down the line, Children across Africa are still faced with varied forms of societal challenges that have hampered their safe growth and development. Among other societal ills, is the uncontrollable spate of sexual violence, manifesting in the form of rape, inflicted on the African Child, (including women and girls), which has sparked a lot of outrage across Nigeria and the rest of the Continent.
“ The recent horrendous cases of rape come to mind. For instances, Uwaila Vera Omozuwa who was allegedly raped and killed in Benin City, the 12-year-old girl that was raped over two months in Jigawa State, Barakat Bello who was murdered in Oyo State and the 17 year old in Ekiti State who was allegedly gang-raped. These are just few among many unreported cases in recent times. This is a sad reality particularly in Nigeria and some parts of the continent. She concludes.