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It has been revealed that 11 out of the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have not domesticated the Child Rights Act (CRA). Mrs. Sharoon Oladiji, UNICEF, Child Protection specialist, made the disclosure.

The states included: Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Adawama and Gombe.

She made this known at a media dialogue on the Convention on the Rights of the Child ([email protected]) organized by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Oladiji, while speaking to the topic “Domestication of the CRC; the CRA legal framework’, sated that only eight states out of the North’s 19 states have domesticated the act. They are Niger, FCT, Nasarawa, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Kwara and Kogi and all 17 states in the South have domesticated the act. She said Jigawa State had earlier domesticated the act but repealed it thereafter.

According to her, the CRC was adopted on the 20th November 1989 by the UN General Assembly, and was ratified by 194 countries, except Somalia.

She said it covers civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, thus underscoring the indivisibility and equal importance of all rights.

Also, UNICEF Chief of Communication, Eliana Drakopoulos, said media has a role to play in the global campaign, saying, about 191 countries were involved

She further stated that, “We want to know where are; we now 30 years after the CRC, what is the stage of children’s rights, have they implemented the rights of the children. Children need to know their rights and even parents should know as well

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human right treaty, which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children of which our country Nigeria is part of. For us, the need to uphold the realization of the rights of children can never be over emphasized.”

In his welcome remarks, Mr Olumide Osanyinpeju, the deputy director, Head (Advocacy/CRIB) Child Rights Information Bureau, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture Abuja, said a comprehensive statement on children’s right, which would be binding under international law became necessary with reports of injustice suffered by children ranging from high infant mortality, deficient health care, limited opportunities for basic education, alarming accounts of children being abused and exploited as prostitutes or in harmful jobs, children in prison or in other difficult circumstances.

He noted that it has been an uphill task bringing to fruition the total realization of children’s rights in society, especially in the rural areas, which constitute the bulk of society and where a vast majority of the people is not literate.

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