Fred Ezeh, Abuja
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched an advocacy campaign that would increase awareness to children’s rights by Nigerians, as part of event to commemorate the 2019 Nigerian Children’s Day.
The campaign message was contained in a booklet titled ‘passport to your rights’, produced in child-friendly language and pocket format for easy access.
The UN children agency explained that the Convention for Right of the Child (CRC) ‘passport’, will also come in Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin languages, for easy access to millions of Nigerians.
UNICEF, in a statement released in Abuja, on Monday, said it was unhappy that in spite of the improvement in life and opportunities available to children across the world, children in Nigeria are still unable to access quality healthcare, nutrition, education and other rights to the extent that they must.
UNICEF new Country Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, who signed the statement, observed that the most disadvantaged children suffer the greatest challenge in having their rights fulfilled.
He, thus urged the government to use the opportunity of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on CRC, to drive a serious campaign and programmes that would herald improved welfare for children.
He said: “Three decades ago, world leaders made a promise to every child to protect and fulfill their rights, by adopting the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“Today, more children live healthy lives, learn in school and have voice in their communities. But more need to be done as children’s rights continue to be unfulfilled and threatened around the world and in Nigeria.
“There are still too many children being left behind, and too many childhoods cut short by violence, conflict, poverty and inequality. Howbeit, the Convention has helped to transform children’s lives, inspired legislative changes to protect children and enable them participate actively in societal discussions.
“That is the dream we have for children in Nigeria. We want to see them enjoy that kind of a childhood that would be devoid of security threats and denials.”