Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Responding to the rise in violence against children, the Federal Government has put in place a number of strategies to help the victims of attacks, especially in conflicts zones.
This was revealed in a statement issued by the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, through her Press Director, Shehu Maikai, in observances of this year’s International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, which is marked on June 4th yearly.
Dame Pauline listed the strategies put in place by the government to include the enactment of the Child’s Right Act (2003) and the signing of international and regional treaties in order to protect the Nigerian child.
The treaties are the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990), the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children and Armed Conflicts (2000) and Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (2000).
Dame Tallen said that a UNICEF survey on Violence against Children (VAC) showed that six out of every 10 Nigerian children have experienced one form of violence or the other.
The forms of violence against children include, but not limited to, being a child soldier, being a victim of child labour, child marriage, child trafficking, child prostitution, rape, procurement, battering and force labour. Others are kidnapping, killing, baby racketeering and sexual exploitation, the minister listed.
‘In response to the VAC survey, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Year of Action to End Violence Against Children on 15th September 2015 and a Road Map to End Violence Against Children.
‘As a result, a number of children recruited as child fighters by the dreaded Boko Haram have been rescued by security forces and have undergone some form of rehabilitation by government.
‘The Ministry of Women Affairs has also embarked on advocacy campaigns to mitigate the hardship occasioned by Aggression and COVID-19 on children,’ the minister said.