Over 60 per cent Nigerian children suffer sexual, physical and other kinds of violence in the society, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.
Ms Ladi Alabi, a Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF, Bauchi Field Office, made the disclosure during her advocacy visit to the Jos Zonal Office of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Alabi said, ”Statistics has it that 60 per cent of Nigerian children suffer some forms of violence; meaning that, six out of every 10 Nigerian children experience some kind of violence.
”Half of all children in Nigeria experience physical violence, and one in four girls and one in 10 boys experiences sexual violence.
”Also, one in six girls and one in five boys suffers emotional violence from parents, caregivers or adult relatives,” she said.
The child protection specialist added that majority of the children that experience physical, sexual or emotional violence in childhood mostly report multiple incidents.
She said girls were significantly affected most when it comes to sexual and physical violence than other combination of violence, while boys suffer emotional and physical violence most.
Alabi explained that the figures were drawn from the Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC) in 2014.
She said that the national survey was supported technically by UNICEF, Nigeria, and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among others.
In his remarks, Mr Sam Kaalu, UNICEF Communication Officer, Bauchi Field Office, said that the team was in Jos to prepare grounds for the launch of Priority Actions on Ending Violence Against Children.
He said that the alarming figures got from the survey propelled the Federal Government to launch the action in September, 2015 with a call on the state governments to key in.
”Because we know that ending violence against children needs multi-sectoral action, all hands must be on deck to see that Nigerian children do not suffer any form of violence.
”Plateau is among the few states that have agreed to key into this project after Lagos, Cross River and Benue which have since launched the programme.
”So, we are here to inform you about the launch and to seek your partnership and support in ending violence against children in Plateau,” he said.
The communication officer added that Nigeria was the first in West Africa and the 8th in the world to launch its priority action plan with a view to nip in the bud issues relating to violence against children.
NAN reports that formal launch of the action plan would hold on Sept. 29 in the state.
Plan Impact, Online organisation, says, “Every child has the right to be protected from abuse, exploitation, neglect or any other form of violence, irrespective of gender, origin, ethnicity, ability, or of socio-economic, cultural or geographic status.’’