Buhari To Launch Programmes To End Violence Against Children
President Muhammadu Buhari, will on Tuesday in Abuja launch a population-based survey and year of action to end violence against children in Nigeria.
The survey, conducted by the National Population Commission, (NPC) with oversight from the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) and the US Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) revealed that half of Nigerian children experiences one form of violence or the other before the age of eighteen.
It also discovered that the trend may continue if drastic and urgent action is not taken to stop it.
At a press briefing in Abuja, Thursday, UNICEF decried the high prevalence rate of violence against children in Nigeria saying that the fact that vulnerable children either do not know where to seek help or they are never helped even when they make an attempt to be helped makes it more challenging.
According to the agency, approximately one out of ten Nigerian children under the age of 18 years experiences some forms of physical, emotional and sexual violence adding that majority of affected children never tell anyone about their experience while less than five percent who experience violence ever receive the support needed to recover.
Giving an overview of the survey and key study findings, Director, Planning and Research in NPC, Dr. Samson Olanipekun, explained that girls are significantly more likely to experience both sexual and physical violence than other combinations of violence while boys are more likely to experience both physical and emotional violence than other combinations of violence.
“Low rates of disclosure and service-seeking has continually left perpetrators off the hook,” he added. “There is need to dislodge any barrier to seeking help; governments at all levels should put in place support and care centres that would be accessible to children as well as training of specialized personnel to handle cases of violence.”