United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says over 60 per cent of Nigerian youths approximately six out of every 10 children under the age of 18 years suffer some form of physical, emotional or sexual violence.
In a statement to commemorate the Universal Children’s Day in Nigeria with the theme “Why fair matters” made available to newsmen in Kaduna by Rabiu Musa, Media and External Relations Officer, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office laments that “There is a culture of silence around violence against children,”
It said, “a study conducted by the National Population Commission, with support from UNICEF and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, shows that one in two children experience physical violence; one in four girls and one in 10 boys experience sexual violence while one in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence.”
Jean Gough, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, was also quoted in the statement as saying “For many reasons, most children never speak up about it, and they don’t know where to go for help.
“The Government of Nigeria, UNICEF, the CDC, USAID and other partners in the ‘Year of Action to End Violence Against Children’ are aiming to break that silence. Violence against children is never, ever acceptable.
UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, also said “the world remains a deeply unfair place for the poorest and most disadvantaged children despite major advances since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
“In just over a generation, the world has cut child death rates by half, put over 90 per cent of children in primary school, and increased by 2.6 billion the number of people with access to safe water.
“Yet children make up almost half of the world’s poor, nearly 250 million children live in conflict-torn countries, and over 200,000 have risked their lives this year seeking refuge in Europe.
“Girls from the poorest families are four times more likely as those from the richest families to be married before 18.
“More than 2.4 billion people still do not have adequate toilets , 40 per cent of them in South Asia; and more than 660 million still lack accesses to safe drinking water, nearly half of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
“An impressive team of UNICEF Ambassadors are raising their voices or activating their social media networks to help spur action for the world’s most vulnerable children as part of UNICEF’s Fight against Unfair campaign.”

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