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Six out of 10 Nigerian kids suffer violence, say UNICEF, EU


child-brideThe United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the European Union (EU), say about 60 per cent of children, representing six out of 10 children, suffer one or more types of violence before they reach the age of 18 years in Nigeria.

A national survey by the National Population Commission, supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the EU and UNICEF, launched in September 2015, found that six out of 10 children suffer one or more types of violence before they reach the age of 18 years.

The international agencies in a statement yesterday, commended the Bayelsa State Government for the domestication of the National Child’s Right Law.

The Representative of UNICEF Nigeria, Jean Gough, said Bayelsa had become the 23rd state in Nigeria to ensure the legal protection of children from all forms of violence through the domestication of the NCRA.

He said the law signed by Governor Seriake Dickson in May 2016, for the first time, criminalises violence against children and sets out the role of every stakeholder in preventing and responding to violence against children, which is widespread in Nigeria.

The groundbreaking law, according to him is a significant step in protecting and supporting the millions of children suffering physical, sexual and emotional violence every year in Nigeria.

Gough said UNICEF, the Bayelsa State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, the State Ministry of Justice and civil society groups, especially the Child Protection Network, relentlessly advocated for the passage of the law, under the Support to Justice Sector Reform Programme, a €26m initiative funded by the European Union.

Governor Dickson had said while signing the NCRA that he was delighted that the new law would offer protection for children in Bayelsa State.

I stress that anyone caught violating the rights of children will be prosecuted according to the provisions of this new law, Dickson had said.

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