Children’s Day: UNICEF Launches Campaign On Children’s Rights

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By; TINA PHINEAS, Yola

As Nigeria celebrates 2019 Children”s Day, the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched a campaign drawing awareness to children’s rights.

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s new Country Representative in Nigeria, observed that Nigerian children are  the most disadvantaged, suffering the greatest challenge in having their rights fulfilled.

 

According to him, UNICEF on Monday commemorated Nigerian Children’s Day, that  comes at a crucial moment for child rights in the country, and for child rights globally.

 

“While there have been many advances over the last years, children in Nigeria are still not accessing health, nutrition, education and other rights to the extent that they must,” he stated.

Hawkins said  Nigerian Children’s Day 2019 falls during the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which is being commemorated this year around the world.

 

“As part of the celebrations, UNICEF is launching a “Passport to Your Rights” – a copy of the CRC in child-friendly language, in pocket format”

” UNICEF aims that every child in Nigeria has a copy by 2030 – the deadline for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”

 

“The CRC ‘passport’ will also be available in Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin languages, helping to ensure access by millions of Nigerians”, He pointed out.

 

He maintained that 30 years ago, World leaders came together in a moment of unity for the world’s children, made a promise to every child to protect and fulfil their rights, by adopting the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

He stated further that, the Convention went on to become the most widely-ratified human rights treaty in history, with Nigeria ratifying it in 1991, which has helped to transform children’s lives; inspiring legislative changes to protect children and enabling them to participate actively in their societies.

 

“Today, more children than ever live healthy lives, are learning in school and have a voice in their communities”

“But much more needs to be done as children’s rights continue to be unfulfilled and threatened daily around the world and in Nigeria”

” There are still too many children being left behind, and too many childhoods cut short by violence, conflict, poverty and inequality,” said Peter Hawkins.

 

“On this Nigerian Children’s Day, we must look ahead to the future of childhood in this country, and re-commit to urgent, specific actions to protect the rights of every child now, and in future generations.”

Hawkins called upon government and Nigerians to commit to urgent and specific actions to uphold and protect children’s fights.

“Child rights will only be fully realized when every government and every citizen is aware of and upholds children’s rights, and every child can claim those rights. It is for this reason that we are launching a campaign ‘For every child, every right’ and will work closely with the government to ensure that all Nigerians are aware of the rights that all children have”, UNICEF Country representative stated.

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