Abuja- The United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is putting in place a legal framework to prevent harmful practices against children in Africa, an official said.
Samuel Kaalu, Communication Officer at the UNICEF Field Office situated at the Bauchi State in Nigeria, said the organization was seeking the backing of faith-based organizations and community leaders during the process.
He said the framework will campaign for the punishment of perpetrators of violence against children.
“The world body felt sad that in spite of the persistent calls, some communities have continued to indulge in the ill practices,” said Kaalu in a statement.
He said harmful social and cultural practices such as female genital mutilation of children and branding minors witches and wizards in some African countries were the issues that most concerned UNICEF.
An estimated 101 million girls 10 years old and above have underwent varying forms of genital mutilation in Africa.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are about 140 million girls and women around the world currently living with the consequences of the practice, the majority of these Africa, where it is routinely done in 28 countries.
UNICEF is concerned accusations of child witchcraft are on the rise in several African countries, with horrifying consequences.
Reportedly, children branded child witches are being subjected to tortuous exorcisms while some have been set on fire, The majority are boys between the ages of 8 and 14 especially orphans, street children, albinos, children with mental or physical disabilities and twins.
– CAJ News