By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 2019 Day of the African Child (DAC), African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) has tasked the federal government to redouble their efforts in reducing the plight of the Nigerian child.
This call is sequel to the recurring insecurity in the northern regions of the country with resulting drop-out of school by children of school age, separation from parents and child labour.
The centre in partnership with Malala Fund Nigeria in commemoration of the DAC with the theme “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First” drew the attention of relevant stakeholders to the plights of the African Child in Nigeria in particular and Africans in general.
According to the Centre LSD Malala Fund Gulmakia champion for Community-Led Collective Action for Girl Education (C-CAGE), Frances Igwilo, recent statistics show that child workers in Sub-Saharan Africa account for about 80 million children or 4 out of every 10 children under 14 years of age- which is the highest child labour rate in the world.
“Again, more than 1 in 5 of those aged 6-11 and a third of children between 12 and 14, are in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 15 million girls of primary school age in the world, a whopping 9 million also live in sub-Saharan Africa,” she said.
The C-CAGE champion underscored the urgent need to reverse the predicament of the African child, particularly that of the Nigerian child, saying the right of the Nigerian child must be respected as enshrined in the Child Rights Act. She noted the African child especially the girl child is affected by many different types of abuse, including economic and sexual exploitation, gender discrimination in education and access to health, early marriage, child labour and their involvement in armed conflict.
Igwilo pointed out that the centre was contributing to reducing the challenges faced by the Nigerian child with its intervention targeted at reducing the number of out of school children especially the girl child in Adamawa State.
, even as she enjoined the relevant stakeholders on education including the government at all levels, CSOs and traditional institution in the country to redouble their efforts in reducing the plight of the Nigerian child.
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