‘Nigeria loses N2.135tr to violence against children’
Violence against children costs Nigeria about $6.1 billion (about N2.135 trillion), reveals an unprecedented report launched by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
According to the report released yesterday in Abuja by the director of press in the budget ministry, Victoria Agba-Attah, the economic impact of the violence against children in Nigeria is estimated at 1.07 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). She disclosed that the figure was from the cumulative loss of earnings due to loss of productivity stemming from suffering associated with different degrees of violence, over time.
The report revealed that about half of the children surveyed experienced physical violence by parents, adult relatives, direct or indirect caregivers or community members, before they reached 18. It noted that the study might actually underestimate the economic burden of violence against children, as several serious consequences of such violence were not included, due to lack of data.
“The cost of inaction is high, when it comes to violence against children.“Violence affects children’s health, education and productivity. It is clear that we need to eliminate any form of violence against children from the moral and economic perspectives.
“The findings of this study point to the strong need for increased funding of interventions by government to reduce violence against children in Nigeria,” said Mr. Olajide Odewale, permanent secretary in the budget ministry. “This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, giving us an opportunity to join our collective efforts to protect children from violence, abuse and neglect. This includes a re-commitment to increase investment in child protection services,” said UNICEF country representative, Mohamed Fall.
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