ActionAid Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the International Day of the African Child on 16 June 2011. Below is a press release issued to demand accelerated action towards child survival in Nigeria.
Press ReleaseContact: Onyinyechi Okechukwu, Communications Advisor, ActionAid Nigeria+234 802 090 3000, Onyinyechi.Okechukwu@actionaid.orgFor Immediate Release15. 06. 2011A call for accelerated action towards child survival in NigeriaNigeria is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. In spite of this, Nigerian children constitute significant percentage of vulnerable groups and are victims of all forms of exclusion and discrimination, violence and victimisation.
More than 1,500 babies born in sub-Saharan Africa die daily, "mostly from preventable or treatable causes. The life expectancy of an African child at birth is 50 years, much lower than the world average of 68.Up to 200 million children i.e. 10% of the world’s young people are born with a disability or become disable before the age of 19. In developing countries, including Nigeria only about 2% of children with disabilities receive education while more than 80% have no access to services.“We have recognised that it is becoming increasingly important to promote the rights of children with disabilities, said Tunde Aremu, ActionAid Nigeria’s Policy, Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator. “We have many children living in rural and urban areas that have different form of disabilities and have been denied access to their basic rights such as right to education and health care services”.“There are inadequate health care and education facilities in the country especially in rural communities. Most schools do not provide special education and amenities that children with disability need to lead a normal life and so parents of these children keep them at home without any basic education or health care, he said”.The denial of children’s rights to education leaves them under-developed and their potential untapped; they are unable to lead a life of dignity and create a huge financial burden on their parents.To commemorate this year’s Day of the African Child ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with its partners will present a stage play on 18 June 2011 at the Transcorps Hilton Hotel Abuja entitled African Cinderella.
The aim is to use theatre as a social phenomenon for political expression to advocate for change, disseminate key information on children’s rights as well as educate decision makers and the public on the realities of violations of children’s rights in Nigeria.
Nigerian government have signed on to many international and regional treaties that aims to promote children’s right such as the Convention on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and at national level the Bill on Persons with Disability without appropriate domestication and implementation plans for such laws and treaties.There are big gaps between words and deeds, between promises and actions. It is hoped that this year’s celebration of the Day of the African Child will push Nigerian leaders beyond lip service and put the welfare of the Nigerian child on top of their agenda.ENDS
ActionAid is an international non-governmental organisation working in over 40 countries, taking sides with the poor to end poverty and injustice together.