UNICEF charge state government on child rights

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

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The United Nations Education Fund, UNICEF, has charged the State governments to do more in domesticating the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child in Nigeria.

The UN agency also attributed the failure of stakeholders to domesticate the Convention on  inequality in accessing education.

UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, who made these observations, reiterated that the enactment of the Convention on the rights of the child became a global treaty when the world agreed that childhood was a very precious time when children irrespective of their background must be able to grow healthily, learn in school, be protected from violence, treated fairly, and have their views listened to.

He pointed that such norms were hardly adhered to in Nigeria, where many children are unfairly treated and excluded from obtaining education that ought to prepare them for modern jobs and business opportunities.

According to Hawkins: “Too many young Nigerians don’t have full education that will prepare them for modern jobs and business opportunities. Many children in families with low incomes are left behind and miss out on the opportunities afforded to wealthier families – these children are in a ‘poverty trap determined entirely by the family he or she was born into. This is not fair.” 

He singled out children born into poor families, with low incomes, saying for no fault of theirs, they miss out on the opportunity to acquire education and therefore continue the circle of poverty.

Hawkins noted that on the contrary, children from wealthier families are afforded such opportunities while others born into poor families are entrapped in poverty.

The convention on the Rights of a Child, CRC, was enacted because member countries recognized that childhood is a very precious time when children must be able to grow healthily, learn in school, be protected from violence, be treated fairly, and have their views listened to.

Omolayo.A