UNICEF pledges support for rights of Nigerian children
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has pledged to support Nigerian communities to promote the rights of children.UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during an event to commemorate the Universal Children’s Day at the Government Day Secondary School Garki, Abuja.
The United Nations Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide.
According to Hawkins, priority should be given to the education of the child, as it forms the basis of defence for them and enables them to stand for their rights in society.“When a child is educated, they will be given the ability to contribute their quota to the community. When a child is educated, they can avoid situations that can endanger their health and future as a whole,” he said.
The country representative stated the celebration of the 2019 Universal Children’s Day, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, was to showcase the talent of the Nigerian child and re-affirm the need to value and recognise children’s rights.He described the Nigerian child as the light, dream and hope for tomorrow.
Addressing the students of Government Day Secondary School, Garki, the event’s special guest, Cobhams Asuquo, said that “Nigerian children are all that is right with Nigeria.”
The 38-year-old award-winning, visually-impaired artiste and music producer stressed: “You are all that is right with Nigeria because you all have the chance to re-write all the wrongs the previous generations before committed. I envy you all because you have the chance.”
Calling for equal and better treatment of the Nigerian child, the songwriter challenged the students to do better than anyone they had ever admired in society.UN Secretary-General, Anthonio Gutteres, called on the governments of the world to build on advances and re-commit to putting children first.
“Around the world, children are showing us their strength and leadership, advocating for a more sustainable world for all. Let’s build on advances and re-commit to putting children first. For every child, every right,” he said.About 50 percent of children in the North East are yet be immunised, while 34,000 of them in Taraba are down with acute malnutrition and large number not enrolled in school, UNICEF said.
Chief of Field Office, Bauchi, Mr. Bhanu Pathak, addressing journalists at the UNICEF’s Office yesterday, highlighted the agency’s request from the government to save every child. He said: “We are calling on the government to ensure that every school-age child is in school. The issue of domestication of the Nigeria Child Rights Act 2003 by states and registration of childbirth and children identity should be given priority.”
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