By; Mohammed Kawu, Bauchi.
UNICEF has said that approximately 6 out of every 10 children experience some form of physical, emotional or sexual violence before the age of 18 in Nigeria annually.
The agency hinged the negative development to the Nigeria Violence Against Children Survey carried out by the National Population Commission, conducted with support from UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It revealed that one in two children experience physical violence; one in four girls and one in ten boys experience sexual violence; and one in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence.
According to a statement made available to the press by the communication officer UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office, Mr. Samuel Kaalu, most children do not tell anyone what has happened to them and fewer than five per cent receive the help they need to recover.
The statement commended the Cross River for becoming the second state in the federation to respond to the call of President Muhammadu Buhari for every state to initiate its own campaign during the national Year of Action to End Violence Against Children launched on 15th September, 2015.
It recalled that Cross River state at the campaign launch supported by USAID and UNICEF announced priority actions, developed by a broad section of MDAs, non-governmental organizations, community and faith-based organizations, among others, to prevent and respond to violence against children.
“We are excited to see states are heeding the call of the President and launching their own campaigns and state specific priority actions. UNICEF continues to be proud to support the Presidential Year of Action to End Violence Against Children and is committed to supporting states in their efforts to ensure that all children can grow up free from violence”, the agency said.
Kaalu called on states in Nigeria to work together with the agency to translate the promises made to children of changing their lives affected by acts or threats of violence, saying “We cannot fail our children and our future generations”.