As the world marks International Children’s Day, today, the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) has disclosed that at least three in every five children in Nigeria suffer from one form of abuse or another; before their 18th birthday. a statement issued by the UNICEF to mark World Children’s Day, UNICEF Country Representative to Nigeria, Mr Mohamed Fall, said the plight of the Nigerian child still needs to be looked into with seriousness as Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children.
Fall said: “Nigerian children experience a wide range of abuses and harmful practices.
“An estimated three in five children have suffered one or more forms of violence before reaching 18, with over 70 per cent experiencing multiple incidents of violence.
“We want to build a world where every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potentials, and nowhere is this more true than in Nigeria.
“A lot has been achieved, but, there is still much to do to ensure that Nigerian children benefit from advances in child rights.
“At the moment, too many children are being left behind and we need to reach them.
“Nigeria has the world’s highest number of out-of-school children, and one of its highest rates of maternal, child and infant mortality.
“This World Children’s Day, we must recommit to children–knowing that, for Nigeria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we must invest in long-lasting institutional and community-based systems and policies for children’s survival, growth and development.”
He called on leaders at all levels to realise that “Nigerian children have a huge role to play in the country’s national development.
“It is the generation of children growing up today who will take their place as Nigeria’s leaders tomorrow, and, who will be able to really accelerate the progress we make now.”