Abuja – The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, has decried the increasing rate of violence against children in the country.
Bolane Jaji, a senior official from the ministry, represented her at the opening of a three-day workshop on the Prevention of Violence Against Children in the country.
The Minister identified acts of violence against children as rape, trafficking, child labour, and sexual exploitation.
“It is disheartening to note that many Nigerian children face barbaric acts of violence that jeopardise their prospects of development into productive and well-adjusted adults. Violence against children takes place when adults use their strength or position of power to hurt them on purpose and not by accident.”
She said such violence against children existed in every country of the world, irrespective of culture, ethnic groups or background.
“It is in recognition of this fact that the UN Secretary-General in 2005 conducted a global study on the issue and Nigeria contributed to the study by filling out the questionnaire sent to all UN member countries.”
She said it had been observed that acts of violence against children always took place in familiar settings.
“The study among others identified five settings where violence occurs namely: the home and family; schools and educational settings; institutional – that is care and judicial; the workplace; and the community. It is however sad to note that all of these settings are places where children have been placed in the care and trust of adults, who by their positions have a duty to protect the child from any form of violence or ill-treatment,” added Maina.
Director of Child Department in the Ministry, Hajiya Rabi Galadima, said that children were the bearers of Nigeria’s hopes and aspirations hence should be protected.
Galadima added that many children were being denied the full benefits of their rights in their states due to the non-passage of the 2003 Child Rights Law. She called on the states that had yet to pass the law to do so urgently in the interest of their children.
– CAJ News