The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), has decried the increasing occurrences of child abuse and violence against children in the country, attributing it to poor child-sensitive budgeting of government at all levels.
UNICEF Communications Officer, Mrs. Blessing Ejiofor, made the disclosure recently at an advocacy meeting held in Ibadan, Oyo State, which it organised was for scaling up of mass communication training institutions, and mainstreaming child rights report curriculum in the country.
According to her, the one-day event, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, was necessary to get more teachers and media practitioners involved in the protection of the child’s rights.
Ejiofor said that as a matter of profession, the inclusion of the child rights reportage into mass communication training, and mainstreaming it in their (schools’) curriculum would end abuse and violence against children.
She attributed the series of abuses meted to children in the country to the passiveness of government at all levels to implement the Children Rights Convention (CRC), which she said deprived them of their survival, development, protection and participation rights.
UNICEF’s Communication Specialist, Mr. Geoffrey Njoku, who gave a lecture on child rights reporting in the country, noted that the training would lead to more communication training institutions teaching child rights reporting.
The two speakers tasked mass media practitioners and institutions to place more emphasis on ending Violence Against Children (VAC), by ensuring that young journalists in their institutions show more interest in the reportage.