Nigerian Children Demand End To Violence

Nigerian Children demand an end to violence and insecurity and are asking for more investments into their future.

The demand to end violence and all is contained in an open letter written and signed by the leadership of the Nigerian Children’s Parliament to President Muhammadu Buhari as they, mark the Day of the African Child.

The open letter was facilitated by the global child rights organization, Save the Children International, Nigeria (SCIN).

The children drew the attention of the President to the cries of all children “from Soweto to Nigeria”, demanding an end to harmful practices that include sexual violence and insecurity of lives and properties across the country..

According to the children, “We stand with one voice, from Soweto to Sokoto, demanding an end to all forms of harmful practices and violence against children in Nigeria and Africa”.

The Children who signed the letter include: Representative of State Children Parliaments, Borno, Madina Abdikadir, Speaker, Ibrahim Zanna Sunoma, Former House Leader Katsina, Aisha Idris Nakano, Speaker, FCT and Girl Ambassador, SCI, Purity Oriaifo and Youth Ambassador, SCI, Maryam Ahmed.

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The Children Parliamentarians however appreciated President Buhari on his achievements in policy provisions for the Safe School Declaration and the National Health Insurance Authority Act, which they noted will improve the lives and future of Nigerian children.

Speaker, Nigerian Children’s Parliament, Borno State, Ibrahim Zanna Sunoma

They however called on all governments in the country to commit mote to protect children from harmful traditional practices and end all forms of violence against girls and boys.

According to the children, “In our country, we are exposed to and affected by the high prevalence of harmful practices including child marriage, forced marriage and female genital mutilation, among others”.

The children noted, “These practices, behaviors, and discriminations are based on gender, age, and other structural barriers that often result in childhood emotional and physical injuries of a lifetime”.

The Nigerian children applauded the provisions and domestication of laws protecting children by the government, such as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) (2015) and the Child Rights Act (2003).

They are however miffed that unless these bills are supported by the development of implementation strategy, plan and funding or timely release and utilization of domestic funds, they “will not be able to feel, experience and enjoy the fulfilments of our rights as articulated in the bills”.

The Children Parliamentarians are asking to be a part of discussions regarding Nigeria they want to see in the next two decades since the future depends on how the government invests in them, today

Our ‘Ask’

“We call upon the government to double its investment in Nigerian children and prioritize the full implementation of child-sensitive policies and strategies nationwide.

“We, Nigerian Children, are appealing for the establishment of at least one specialized children’s court and dedicated law enforcement units within the Nigerian Police, Security and Defense forces, agencies, and services in each of the six geo-political zones of the country to fast-track the full implementation of the VAPP (2015) and Child Rights Act (2003).

“We would like to sincerely request the government to design a child-led, comprehensive, multi-sectoral, national development agenda and plan for children.

The children urged all governments to prioritize the implementation and domestication of the Child Rights Act 2003 saying, it will provide children in Nigeria with the necessary legal policy framework for seeking justice when rights are denied or abused.

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