By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The UNICEF yesterday commemorated Nigerian Children’s Day, saying that it comes at a crucial moment for child rights in the country, and for child rights globally.
To this end, the international Organisation launched a campaign to draw awareness to children’s rights by all of Nigerian society.
“While there have been many advances over the last years, children in Nigeria are still not accessing health, nutrition, education and other rights to the extent that they must,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s new Country Representative in Nigeria.
“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.
As part of the celebrations, UNICEF is launching a “Passport to Your Rights” – a copy of the CRC in child-friendly language, in pocket format.
UNICEF aims that every child in Nigeria has a copy by 2030 – the deadline for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
It said the CRC ‘passport’ will also be available in Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin languages, helping to ensure access by millions of Nigerians.
“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 Conventon established childhood as a period that is separate from adulthood – a time in which children should grow, learn, play, develop and flourish.
“We want to see every Nigerian child have that kind of a childhood,” said Hawkins.