Ahead of the 2017 children’s day celebration, the Federal Government in partnership with USAID is set to launch a document to stop violence and all forms of abuse against children.
The Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mrs Irene Elegbede said this in Abuja on Thursday at the pre-launch campaign to end Violence Against Children (VAC).
The programme is organised by the FCT Social Development Secretariat and the Vulnerable Children Technical Steering Committee.
The theme of this year’s celebration is “ Child Protection and Sustainable Development Goals: Issues and Challenges’’.
Elegbede, who was represented by Mrs Agnes Hart, Acting Director of Gender Department, FCTA, said that this became necessary following high prevalence of violence against children across the country.
She said that report had shown that 60 per cent of children often experience one or more types of violence before age 18.
“It is also noted that six out of every 10 children are subject to some form of violence every year.
“Violence against children remains widespread, invisible and socially condoned.’’
Elegbede said that the document would be unveiled on May 27 in order to more effectively prevent and respond to violence against children.
She added that the secretariat would continue to renew its commitment to lead the campaign to end violence against children.
She called on MDAs, Civil Society Organisations, Community Based organisations, private sector, media, security agencies and others to join the End Violence against Children Campaign’.
“Together, we can guarantee a safe and violence-free environment for our children to grow and achieve their full life potential for the benefit of mankind.’’
She however commended the contribution of the Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihoods and Household Empowerment (SMILE Project) as an instrument to drive the initiative.
Mr Arinze Orakwe, the Director, Public Enlightenment, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) said women were the culprits in any form of abuse or violence against children hence need for sensitisation.
Orakwe said that NAPTIP had, however, set up a register to name and shame anyone found guilty of any form of abuses against children.
“The register set up by the organisation will be shared with embassy and we will continue to name and shame the offenders so that they can learn.
“This is done in such a way that anybody be it influential person or not will be curbed from engaging in any form of abuse against children.’’
He urged stakeholders to voice out any incidence of abuse against children in order to build an army of children for the future.
Mrs Maryam Obike of the Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihoods and Household Empowerment (SMILE Project) said the document, which would be launched on children’s day, would help curtail violence against children.
Obike identified five priority areas for the document to include implementing the laws and policies that have to do with violence against children and enhancing the response to prevent violence.
Other areas she said are scaling up the efforts of stakeholders, monitoring and evaluation of the plan and investing in the response to prevent violence against children.
She said that all hands must be on deck to achieve Vision 20:2020 in ending violence against children in Nigeria.