The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has called for the accelerated implementation of Child Right Law in states in Nigeria in order to guarantee proper children protection and care.
UNICEF also called on states yet to pass and sign their Child Right Bill into an Act (Law) to expedite action on it to move on with the rest of the World and make the World a better place for children development and safety.
The Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Enugu, Mrs Juliet Chiluwe, made the call on Thursday in Enugu during a press briefing in preparation for the celebration of Nigerian Children’s Day 2023, which would be held on Saturday, May 27, nationwide.
Chiluwe said that as “special gifts from God to the country and humanity”, children everywhere must be “treated with care and respect as they remain the future of many generations”.
According to her, children are gifts from God. It does not matter the sex and physical state or condition of the child and with their beauty, infectious smiles and carefree spirit, they steal the hearts of many.
“In advocating for proper parenting for value orientation and national consciousness, children all over the world have the rights to voice their opinions and areas of needs, be heard and listened to. It is the obligation of all duty bearers and persons who take care of children to help them actualise these rights,” she said.
Chiluwe said that Children’s Day in Nigeria provides children an opportunity to immerse themselves in several social and extracurricular activities, which included: debates, excursions, funfair, parades, and lots more.
“Children’s Day, which is celebrated in Nigeria on May 27 annually, is dedicated to celebrating children all over the world, and for adults to remember their childhood experiences. The excitement of the day is palpable as it’s a special day to recognise, honour, celebrate and appreciate – God’s gifts.
“So, attention must be paid to their physical, psychological, developmental, and overall wellbeing. It is time to halt and reassess our children’s situations, refocus on better upbringing of our children and ensuring the families remain safety nets for children,” she said.
She noted that UNICEF mandate is to assist children everywhere to actualise their right to participation and other rights inherent in the Child Rights Law. She said that UNICEF would be collaborating with the Ministry of Gender and Social Development, Enugu State’s Children’s Parliament, and media to organise a one-day symposium to help hold duty bearers accountable towards the fulfillment of their rights in this year’s Children’s Day.
Chiluwe said that the symposium would provide the needed platform to call Enugu State Government and all her stakeholders to take concerted action on accelerated implementation of the state’s Child Rights Law. She said that the theme of the symposium is: “The state of the Nigerian children today: Proper parenting for value orientation and national consciousness”.
“As we celebrate the 2023 Nigerian Children’s Day: I wish all Nigerian Children happy celebrations!” Chiluwe, whose office oversees UNICEF activities in eight states in the country, said. These states included: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Cross River, Kogi and Benue States.