Mrs. Margaret Udoh, President of the Federal Capital Territory chapter of the National Council of Child’s Rights Advocates of Nigeria (NACCRAN), has called for effective implementation of the National Health Act and the passage and implementation of Child Rights Law in every Nigerian state.

Mrs. Udoh made this call at the press briefing on “Stop Violence Against Children in Nigeria” which was organised by NACCRAN in collaboration with Save the Children International (SCI), in Abuja.

The call was made in light of the increase in violence against children and the fact that 12 of the 36 Nigerian states have no law that protects children.

She said that six out of every 10 Nigerian children experience some form of physical, emotional and sexual violence before the age of 18 years.

She added that a 2015 survey showed that violence against Nigerian children was linked to poor mental and physical health outcomes for boys and girls from childhood to adulthood.

Brain injuries, bruises and fractures, poor interpersonal relations and communication, learning problems, emotional/psychological problems like anxiety, depression, aggression or attempted suicide, use of drugs, sexual indulgence as well as health problems such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases were listed as possible effects of violence against children.

Head of Child Protection Unit of the SCI, Ms. Anne Kpason also said at the briefing that “SCI is working to ensure a future where every Nigerian child survives, learns and is protected from harm by the year 2030 and we are calling on the three tiers of government, development partners, Civil society Organisations and non-governmental organisations to take action to end violence against children.”

She stated that there was a need to develop a robust response plan to findings of the survey on violence against children particularly in Nigeria.

Kpason stressed the fact that traditional and religious leaders should be sensitised on the consequences of violence against children.

Author: Ope Adedeji