By CHIOMA OBINNA
Scientists at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR have advocated for zero tolerance for any form of violence against children.
Making the call in Lagos, the scientists opined that direct experience with violence and neglect during childhood, increases the risk of violent behaviour during adulthood.
Speaking at a Symposium to mark this year’s Children’s Day organised by Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health Research Group, NIMR, Director-General, Prof. Innocent Ujah called for the implementation of UN convention on the Rights of the Child and several national and state policies and programmes: “The family is the accepted and ideal institution for bringing up and protecting children, but unfortunately, in a number of instances, this institution can be the cause of violence, pain and suffering.
In a lecture entitled: “Health Implication of Child Abuse”, Chief Research Fellow, Dr. Nkiru David noted that the immediate effect of child abuse could manifest as physical, psychological and social deficits while long term manifest as maladjusted adults.
To manage child abuse, she advocated for legislation on child protection, (adopting the articles of the child’s rights convention into law), prosecuting child abusers to serve as deterrent to others, legislating against corporal punishment in schools/homes and that all schools should have rigorous anti bullying policies.