The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund has called on Nigeria to reinforce efforts aimed at protecting rights and interests of children in the country.
UNICEF’s Country Director in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, lamented the outbreak of the pandemic, saying it had threatened decades of progress the world body made for children’s development.
“It has been a challenging year for us all with COVID-19 pandemic, not least of all – Nigeria’s children. As we rightfully celebrate Nigerian children today, let us also remember that the COVID-19 crisis has been a child rights crisis – in Nigeria and around the world.
“Poverty is rising, inequality is growing, and the pandemic has often disrupted the essential services that secure the health, education, and protection of children and young people.
“The longer the pandemic goes on, the more intense the impact on women and children.
“On this Nigerian Children’s Day, let us all agree that we cannot let one crisis compound another.
“The pandemic is threatening decades of progress we have made for children.
“Violence is perpetrated against one in four Nigerian children – and one in three Nigerian girls are sexually abused. This has only increased during the pandemic.
“Today of all days, we must commit to reinforce the protection mechanisms for all children”, the Country Director stated.