Save the Children International SCI, has advocated the passage of the child right act into a national law, to address all bottlenecks associated with child right abuse across the country.
At a Media roundtable organised by SCI in Abuja, a member of the children parliament, an arm of the SCI, Miss Maryam Ahmed, maintained that since the introduction of Girl Child celebration, not much have been achieved.
According to her, the challenges affecting the girl child can only be addressed with full domestication of the Child Rights Act in the country”. Miss Ahmed stated.
“the CRA has only been passed in four States so far, but not all those States are properly implementing the act. People still do unimaginable things to children and girls and still get away with it”.
“The first step that Nigeria should take is to priorities the passage of the Child Rights Act into a national law. This is because the CRA is a comprehensive document that clearly identifies the rights of children and provides sanctions to anyone who compromises those rights.”
Another Girl Champion from Yobe State, Khadija Badamassi, said in the last 10 years, there had been increased attention on issues that matter to girls amongst policymakers and the public, creating more opportunities for girls to have their voices heard at the global stage.
She noted that though, investments in girls’ rights remained limited and girls continue to face numerous challenges in fulfilling their potential. “During harvest, when the father is unable to back a loan, some of them usually takes the decision to marry out their daughters regardless of her age, and most times to an old man, old enough to be her father or grandfather.” she noted.
Also, a member representing Dikwa Constituency in the Children’s Parliament, Miss Madina Abdulkadir, said there was a need for stakeholders to raise awareness on the important roles played by the girl child in the society and work towards ending early marriage, gender-based violence and stigmatization against girls.
Director of Advocacy Campaigns, and Communication SCI, Mr Amanuel Mamo, advised the federal government to increase funding for child protection in humanitarian crises.
“The number of girls marrying each year was estimated to be around 12 million and 2 million of those girls were married before their 15th birthday, this figure was gotten when SCI conducted a new research to better understand how much conflict increases risk of child marriage and how many girls are affected.” Mr Mamo noted.
Mr Mamo said the research revealed that around the world, 89.2 million adolescent girls currently live in conflict zones, and almost one in five adolescent girls aged 10-17 years, live in heightened risk to their rights, physically and mentally due to conflicts and Child marriage.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade