Osinbajo: FG Working to Implement Child Rights Act

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Yemi Osinbajo

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that the federal government is working to implement the Child Rights Act internationally and otherwise in sentencing of culprits.

The vice-president gave the hint Tuesday in Abuja while giving his keynote address during the centenary celebration of Save the Children and the unveiling of ‘Stop the War on Children campaign and launching of ‘Global Childhood Report’.

Osinbajo, who was represented by the Coordinator of Social Investment Programme, (SIP), Maryam Uwais, revealed that the prevention of harm on children are currently being put in place.

He said: “The commitment of the federal government to the fight against gender violence, respect for children and operationalising the Children Rights Acts are being currently addressed to ensure that no child is left behind‎.

“The federal government is working to implement Child Rights Act‎ Agreement both internationally and otherwise in sentencing of culprits.”

Earlier, the Nigeria Country Director of Save the Children, Benjamin Foot, said that the unveiling of the three reports provided a very close look at the situation of child rights in Nigeria and around the world.

The reports, he said, include Global Childhood Report 2019; Stop the War on Children: Protecting Children in 21st Century Conflict; and Families Torn Apart: Protecting and Caring for Children Separated from their Families by the Conflict in the North-east, Nigeria.

He explained that ‘Stop the War on Children’ flagship report revealed that more children are living in areas affected by armed conflict than at any time over the past two decades.

Foot stressed that at least 550,000 babies are thought to have died as a result of armed conflicts between 2018 and 2017 in the 10 worst-affected countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq — an average of well over 100,000 every year.

The country director noted that the infants succumbed to indirect effects of conflict and war such as hunger, damaged infrastructure and hospitals, a lack of access to health care and sanitation and the denial of aid.

He lamented that war around the world are causing more suffering for children, noting that the number of children being killed or maimed has more than tripled and the world is witnessing at an alarming increase in the use of aid as weapon of war.

Foot said that the report titled: Families Torn Apart; Protecting and Caring for Children Separated from their Families by the Conflict in the North-east, revealed that more than two million girls, boys and caregivers need psychosocial support services due to severe distress, hardship and displacement in the North-east.

He added that 777,000 children and caregivers remain at risk of injury and loss of life from remnants of war.

The country director stated: “We will continue to fight for children every single day. We will do whatever it takes to make sure they survive, get protection when they as in danger, and have the chance to learn. Because every child should be able to make their mark on their world and help to build a better future for us all.

“We will welcome the bold step forward taken by Nigeria government in ratifying the Safe School Declaration that will be instrumental to ensuring that the schools will be safe zones for children to peruse their studies. We hope that a national policy to guide the implementation of the declaration will be in place soon.

“There needs to be better coordination, collaboration and partnership with local civil society organisation so that international non governmental organisation and Units Nation agencies work better with them to monitor and maintain surveillance on child protection violations in the community and leverage their ability to advocate on behalf of local vulnerable groups.”

He explained further that the report on ‘Global Childhood’ showed that children born today have a better chance than any time in history to grow up healthy, educated and protected with the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The country director said that while the incredible success can be celebrated, there is still much more to be done in order to ensure every child survives, learns and is protected.