UNICEF: Six Out of 10 Nigerian Children Suffer Violence Again and Again

…As JNI,UNICEF, USAID Embark on Violence Awareness Campaign Against Children 

Yakubu Busari, Jos


The Bauchi field officer of UNICEF, Mr Drissa Yeo, represented by Ladi Alabi, said that survey has indicated a high prevalence of sexual, physical and emotional violence against children in Nigeria.

According to him, “six in every 10 children will suffer one or more forms of violence; physical, sexual and emotional before they reach the age of 18 years with over 70 per cent suffering again and again.”

Yeo stressed that “from experience, few seek or receive services or justice. Less than five per cent ever receive the help that they need to recover. Most children suffer in silence.”

He called upon all states in Nigeria to launch their own campaign on ending violence against children which he said Lagos became the first state to heed, stressing that achieving this target is critical for the development of children.

the UNICEF chief made this disclosure at the Central Mosque, Jos, the Plataeu state capital where the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, in conjunction with the UNICEF and USAID held a campaign to end violence against children.

Lady charged JNI as a religious organisation with many members, to join in the work to prevent and respond to violence against children by referencing the Convention on the Right of the Child as a framework for ensuring that children human rights are protected and enshrined within JNI legal and normative framework.

Speaking at the occasion, the Secretary General of (JNI), Dr Khalid Aliyu called on leaders from the Northern states to show absolute commitment and energy to take action to ensure that all children in Nigeria can grow up free from violence.

Aliyu said “we the prophet progeny warn parents that don’t eat from charity, can you see the methodology we are using?  No beating, no harassment but gentle explanation and this gives a child a sense of honour and pride as he /she grows.”

“Allah bestows on them certain responsibilities. Being a parent can be exciting as well as challenging. As the case may be feeding is the duty of parent to feed the child   and is encouraged in Islam .

Khalid emphasised that honour and tenderness for children are integral part of family as well as the community for them to have that sense of belonging and social inclusion .

He explained that to prevent any form of violence against children, Islam sanctions right and privileges to be accorded them, these rights are sacrosanct as far as the religion of Islam is concerned. Any violation to any right is denigration to the child and has to be redressed where possible .

Aliyu said children have the right to comprehensive breastfeeding for healthy mental and physical growth and development.

He said that Islam emphasised that it’s the right of the child to be tended by his parents until he or she is old enough to take care of himself/herself .

UNICEF appealed to JNI leadership to exercise its great influence by mobilising its members, policy makers, traditional leaders, community leaders, parents and those who look after children and member of the public to join in the campaign to end against children.