As the world commemorate the International Children’s Day of Broadcast (ICDB), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says giving voice to children will greatly assist in enhancing their development.
UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mr Geoffrey Njoku, stated this in an interview on Sunday in Abuja.
The theme for this year commemoration of the Day in Nigeria is “Girls Education: Special Protection for Girls in the North-East”.
Njoku urged government at various levels, families and other authorities to encourage children to voice out issues affecting them.
He also called for the expansion of access to education to enable children to attain their full potential.
The UNICEF official advised government to ensure the protection of children, adding that security of those in schools would boost school enrollment and enhance access to girl-education.
According to him, it becomes a double jeopardy if girls are not accessing education and the ones that are accessing are being abducted.
“If the insecurity in schools in the North-East is not checked, gains made over the years in terms of enrolling more girls in schools will be eroded in the next few years.
“We call on government to ensure protection of children in schools so that they will not be victims of abduction,’’ he said.
Njoku said that ICDB was targeted at realizing the participation rights of children as enshrined in Articles 12 and 14 of the Convention of the Right of the Child.
He said that children had the right to freely express their opinions on issues pertaining to them, especially for ICDB.
“ ICDB is a day specifically set aside to listen to children through various platforms on issues concerning them.
“The day is for children to advocate for their rights, what they want and how it should be done.
“Nobody can be a better advocate for issues concerning you except yourself.
“On this day, the media and children collaborate to realise that right. They use various media platforms to speak out, express their opinions on issues affecting them,’’ Njoku said. (NAN)