UNICEF Launches Children’s ‘Passport To Your Rights’




UNICEF on Monday launched ‘A Passport to Your Rights’, a copy of the Child Rights Convention in child-friendly language in pocket format


The aim is to ensure that every child in Nigeria has a copy by 2030, the deadline for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


A press release to mark yesterday’s day children celebration issued by UNICEF Communication Specialist, Geoffrey Njoku made available to press in Bauchi, said the passport will also be available in Hausa, Igbo Yoruba and Pidgin languages.


The statement recalled, “Thirty years ago, something incredible happened. World leaders came together in a moment of unity for the world’s children. They made a promise to every child to protect and fulfil their rights, by adopting the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child”


“The Convention established childhood as a period that is separate from adulthood – a time in which children should grow, learn, play, develop and flourish”, says Peter Hawkins, new UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria.


Peter Hawkins added, “We want to see every Nigerian child have that kind of a childhood”, stressing that the convention was the most ratified human rights treaty in history with Nigeria ratifying it in 1991.


“It has helped to transform children’s lives; inspiring legislative changes to protect children and enabling them to participate actively in their societies”, the statement said.


“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”.


According to the statement, there are still too many children being left behind, and too many childhoods cut short by violence, conflict, poverty and inequality.


“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.”


“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, UNICEF said, that it is 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’.


“Working together, we can seize this moment and make it a turning point for every child; I look forward to picking up this challenge, as the new UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria”, Peter Hawkins said.


Peter Hawkins who noted that while there have been many advances over the last years, children in Nigeria are still not accessing health, nutrition, education and other rights.


Hawkins who took up his post Monday concluded, “Sadly, it is the most disadvantaged children who are suffering the greatest challenge in having their rights fulfilled.”


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.





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