The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it will continue to support federal and state governments towards ensuring the survival and development of children in Nigeria.
UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Mohammed Fall, gave the assurance in Kaduna on Tuesday in an interaction with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the 2018 World Children’s Day.
Fall said though there had been improvement over the years, but added that much needed to be done in making sure Nigerian children’s rights are protected.
He said “We need investment in education to ensure that we get the over 10 million children still not attending school into classrooms.
“We need to make sure children especially those in hard to reach areas can access the nutrition they need to survive and thrive.
“And we need to protect children from violence right now, three out of five children have experienced some form of violence, this is unacceptable,” he said.
He said that all stakeholders, government, families, schools, communities, civil society including the children must work together to achieve results.
“There are a lot to be done and together we can make sure that Nigeria is a place where children will be happy to live and grow up with full respect for all of their rights.
“24 states have signed on to the child’s right law; we want to see all 36 states sign on and implement.
“Signing on is very important because it shows political engagement, but the most difficult part and yet most important is the implementation, as this is really where we are reaching out to children and families,” he added.
According to him, UNICEF believes that all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential to the benefit of a better world.
He said that the Convention on the Rights of the Child incorporates the complete range of international human rights, adding that the rights are interdependent, meaning “you can’t have one without the other.”
“For example, in order to be healthy, you need to have food. In order to thrive, you need to have an education, but you also need to have time to play and just be a child.
“Sadly, we find children’s rights suffering in every corner of the globe.
“From children under attack and suffering, the denial of nutrition in Yemen, to children lacking health care in the midst of crisis in Syria.
“To children in need of protection and essential services in Latin America, as they make their way across the region in a human caravan, children around the world are suffering and in need.
“We have a lot to do and we need to do it fast, if we want to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030,” Fall said.
NAN reports that the theme for the 2018 World Children’s Day is “Children are taking over and turning the world blue”.
NAN further reports that the day was set up to both celebrate children and their rights and draw the world’s attention to the rights deficits that still prevail.