By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo

The Paediatric Association of Nigeria, PAN, has decried the escalation of child Abuse menace in the country despite the existing  Child Rights Act which was passed into Law in 2003.

President of the association, Dr. Edward Alikor noted that it is estimated that six out of ten children across the country have suffered one form of abuse or the other.

Alikor spoke yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital while briefing newsmen on the activities to mark the association’s 52nd and 53rd Annual General Meeting/ Scientific Conference (PANCONF) held in the state from January 18th to 22nd, 2022 with the theme, ‘Child Abuse: An escalating menace in Nigeria’.

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 He explained that their finding of escalation of the menace followed a number of research work carried out to measure the prevalence of child abuse in the states in the country

His words, “Nigeria is notorious in Child Abuse. It is estimated that six (6) out of every ten (10) Children in this country have suffered one form of abuse or the other. For boys 10percent and for girls 35per cent.

“And the more we look into it, the more we find out that it is not abating, it is increasing. When we talk about child abuse, we can’t actually talk much about it without going into Child Rights Act of 2003 which the states were supposed to domesticate the Law.

“It is unfortunate that as large as we are, about eleven (11) out of 36 states of the country have not domesticated the Law. I am not even talking about seeing that it is properly executed.

“Fortunately Akwa Ibom state is not one of them. Many of them are in the northern part of the country. So we have devoted the majority of this conference to discuss on this issue”

Alikor appealed to the media to assist the association in sensitization of the public on the issue especially on the need for all the states to domesticate the Rights Law and also ensure it is properly executed.

He said the association on its part uses different methodology such as training of healthcare workers, awareness of the public to achieve its fundamental objective of advocating for children in the country, adding that they also use PAN Journal to educate themselves and have discussions and dessiminate scientific  information.

“Third week of January every year, we come together to have discussions relating to this fundamental objective of our association. We move about. Last time we were in Kano state” Alikor said.

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