The Executive Secretary NHRC, Tony Ojukwu Esq
By Raphael Ekpang
As Nigeria joins the rest of the global community to celebrate World Children’s Day (WCD) 2020, the National Human Rights Commission has blamed the falling standard of living and general well-being of children on inadequate budgeting and insecurity in some parts of the country.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu Esq. who stated this in Abuja recalled that WCD was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November annually to promote international unity, awareness amongst children worldwide, and to advocate for children’s welfare.
“There has to be a child friendly budgeting and utmost commitment both at the federal and state government level to be able to adequately address the ever increasing spate of child’s rights violations”, Ojukwu stated.
According to the ES, the plights of the Nigerian child is numerous and this ranges from poor anti-natal/post-natal care, lack of birth registration, high percentage of out-of-school children, few opportunities for child’s health insurance, child labour/abuse, child marriage, traditional harmful practices, including female circumcision among several other challenges.
In a statement by NHRC Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, Mr. Ojukwu said that the issue of insecurity in different parts of the country, particularly in the North east where the Boko Haram insurgency has occasioned various forms of human rights violations, has worsen the condition of many children who constitute the most vulnerable population.
The Chief Human Rights Officer in Nigeria observed that the Commission’s work in the North east and other parts of the country over the years, has shown that child’s rights protection has increasingly become more challenging in Nigeria.
He noted that this calls for greater commitment by all stakeholders towards changing the narratives.
In view of the foregoing, the Executive Secretary called for adoption of the Child’s Rights Act 2003 in the states that are yet to do so, adding that the adoption and implementation of this Act will surely make a difference.
Corereporters report that, Mr. Ojukwu restated that November 20 remains very significant for every member of the global community, being the same date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).