Abuja - The U.S. on Tuesday pledged its determination to continuing working together with relevant authorities to end violence against children in Nigeria.
The U.S Chargé d’Affaires, Maria Brewer, stated this in Abuja at the programme launch for the Year of Action to End Violence against Children’.
Brewer said that all children must be protected from abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect, adding that violence against children was never justifiable.
The envoy said that violence was preventable but expressed concern that physical and psychological violence against children still occur in schools, homes and on the streets.
"UN reports that, every day and in every country, girls and boys suffer from and witness violence.
"This happens in all cultures and across all socio-economic classes.
"Violence does not discriminate along ethnic or tribal lines.
"Violence against children occurs for many reasons, in many diverse settings and is sometimes rooted in cultural and social practices.
"Such violence has devastating consequences for children's health; development, and well-being, sadly, most violent acts against children are carried out by people they know.
Also read: US agency decries maternal deaths in Nigeria
"As a society, we must strive to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against children," she said.
Brewer said that Nigeria conducted Violence against Children survey in 2014, which she said was the first of its kind in West Africa.
According to her the survey provided the data to form a clear depiction of the nature and extent of the problem.
She said that this bold first step was funded through PEPFAR in collaboration with the National Population Commission and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
She said the survey helped civil society and government leaders to formulate a plan of action to address this ongoing problem and suggest solutions.
Brewer said that international cooperation also played a critical role in the success of the survey.
She said that the survey was funded by CDC which provided significant technical support through an agreement with UNICEF.
"Building on the survey results, the Government of Nigeria convened a technical working group.
"The group, led by Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development, developed the Nigeria Violence against Children Response Plan.
"This plan, funded by USAID through a grant to UNICEF, includes representatives from relevant ministries and agencies, as well as external stakeholders," Brewer said.