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Residents cry out for aid against child abuse

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By Timothy Akintola

Residents have called for government’s support in fight against child abuse.

Abuse, regardless of its form has been an experience of many Nigerian children. There has been a 92 percent prevalence of child abuse in the country and despite passing the bill for the Child Right Act, Nigeria has been ravaged by an increasing rate of child abuse. Many Nigerian children are still victims of child abuse on daily basis. In fact, the UNICEF in its evaluation, recorded that in Nigeria, six out of ten children are victims of emotional, physical or sexual abuse before the age of 18.

The prevalence of this issue has evidently piqued numerous individuals and groups. Recently, Save the Children International (SCI), an international body against child abuse in their letter to President Buhari, immensely expressed their concerns over the growing cases of child abuse in Nigeria, noting that children have been increasingly under attack by the cases of molestation, sexual abuse, violence, early Child’s marriage, trafficking and child labor that have exposed them to different forms of trauma.

Poverty, a dominant factor for parents giving their children away.

Also, a huge section of residents in Abuja have again called on the government at all levels, as well as concerned stakeholders to further ensure a safekeeping of the Child Right Act in the country. While many non-government organizations are doing their part to curb this issue, the government must be paramount and match their strive to ensure an absolute protection of the rights of children. These residents, speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria, overtly capitulated on growing rate of street children, admonishing the government to help with reduction of this phenomenon.

Commenting on this growing rate of abuse against children, Mr. Samuel Onime, a lecturer at City Polytechnic averred that poverty has been a major drive for parents giving up their children to be cared for. Children are subjected to a variety of abuse that can range from physical, sexual and emotional, from guardians and streetism. Parents are forced to give up their children because of their inadequacy at catering for their needs. He further noted that the deficiency of birth control in the country also abets this problem, as some parents continue to be engrossed with giving birth, even without the financial capability to take care of them. He however advised the need to immensely embrace family planning, to moderate the country’s birth rate.

Medical personnel must also make family planning accessible to everyone.

Dr. David Oamen, a teacher also stated that some parents indulge in this act of giving their children away, so as to pass the responsibility of the children’s upkeep to a guardian or use them to earn money. He added that poverty is a dominant factor that comes to play on this case because it is highly impossible for a poverty-ravaged family to afford basic necessities to ensure the upkeep of their children and in such situations, they decide to give their child/children away. He also attributed this menace to the level of illiteracy on the parts of many parents who give their children up, even when they do not fully know the risks involved.

Per survey, most children who are used as caregivers are victims of numerous domestic abuses like poor hygiene, violence and exploitation, and one resident, Mrs. Kate Uwabueze asserted that most of these children are not properly taken care of, and are mostly exploited for domestic services. Thus, many residents of Abuja, in tackling this issue, have appealed to medical personnel to make family planning accessible. Also, immense sensitization must be carried out, to make parents aware of the rights of children, as well as the risks of giving up their children.

The government must also increase their efforts towards sensitizing people.

One of the residents also appealed to the human rights commission to pump in more efforts into eradicating streetism and investigating these cases deeply. These residents further suggested that non-government organizations, in cooperation with the government must also increase their efforts towards sensitizing people, especially in the rural communities of the dangers of child abuse and importance of birth control. The communication advisor of Plan International, an NGO against child abuse, Mr. Yunus Abdulhamid also reiterated that stringent punishments must be ensured for every offense against children.

Related Link

UNICEF:  Website


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