As Nigeria joins in marking the 2016 Day of African Child, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan said that government is committed to protecting the rights and privileges of all Nigerian children, particularly the vulnerable ones.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Binta Bello said, “this administration is committed to protecting the rights and privileges of all Nigerian Children by refocusing attention on the issues of vulnerable children in the country.’’
She disclosed that government has developed an eight-year strategic framework in the form of a National Priority Agenda for Vulnerable Children 2013-2020 to guide the multi – sectoral operation of vision 20:20:20 strategies and objectives aimed to ensure the protection of vulnerable children in Nigeria and reduce poverty.
According o the minister, the choice of this year’s theme: “Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights”, is apt because of the crisis and conflict situations all over the world, particularly in Africa.
She said that celebrating the day would give a better understanding of the impact of armed conflict on children and also raise consciousness on the devastation effects of it especially children.
The impact of conflict and crisis on children in Africa is enormous and calls for urgent action to reverse the trend. Wars and conflicts put children in situations where their rights are violated, including the right to life, the right to live in a family environment, the right to health, education and to survival and development, she noted.
Ms Doune Potter representing UNICEF, said that the Day of the African Child gives the opportunity to highlight the plight of affected by conflict as it always give opportunity for change and improvement in the lives of children in Africa.
Potter further said , ‘’the theme of this year’s celebration helps us to shed a much-needed light on the terrible impact of conflict on the most vulnerable members in the North East , we have witnessed, and continue to witness grave violations of children’s rights- killings, abductions, sexual violence and the use of children in so-called ‘’suicide’’ attacks.
She noted that Nigeria has the largest number of people who are internally displaced in Africa and one of the largest globally, adding that of the more than 2.4 million people displaced from their homes by the conflict in the country more than half are children. More than a quarter of the displaced are no older than five years old.
Day of the African Child is a day is celebrated in remembrance of the horrendous massacre of children in Soweto in aparteid South Africa on June, 16th 1976.

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