President Muhammadu Buhari is set to launch the Year of Action to End Violence Against Children, the first comprehensive and nationally representative survey conducted in 2014 in every state in Nigeria about violence against children (VAC).
During the event scheduled for September 15, the full findings of VAC will be shared while government agencies will make commitments to end violence against children.
It will also identify priority actions to, among others, enhance and scale up efforts to prevent violence through creating a protective environment for children, changing perceptions of violence and empowering young people.
These were disclosed Thursday in Abuja by Ms Racheal Harvey, Chief of Child Protection, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), when she led staff of her organisation on a courtesy visit to LEADERSHIP.
She noted that violence against children is a significant problem in Nigeria with millions of children suffering from physical, sexual and emotional violence every year.
The chief of Child Protection added that in Nigeria, the prevention of and effective response to violence against children has been linked to the sustainable development of the nation.
She observed that if the six core commitments of the federal government in the National Priority Agenda are fulfilled, it will contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020, saying, “This elevates the importance of the issue of violence against children and recognises that reducing children’s vulnerability will positively and directly impact on Nigeria’s economic and social wellbeing and development.”
According to Harvey, such recognition by Nigeria is timely as the elimination of all forms of violence against children forms a key target of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to be adopted at a Summit at the UN in New York in September 2015.
Harvey said the Nigerian VAC Survey 2014 represents an important step, adding, “for the first time, Nigeria has comprehensive information on the prevalence, characteristics, location, perpetrators and impact of violence against children, providing findings that are critical for strategy development and programming for ministries, departments and agencies, NGOs, faith-based organisations and development partners in Nigeria”.
In her remarks, LEADERSHIP’s standards director, Lara Olugbemi, pledged the company’s support and cooperation to end violence against children in Nigeria.