United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that about 36,000 Nigerian children are victims of violence. In a statement made available to Media-bypass in Bauchi and signed by UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Mr. Peter Hawkins, to mark the Day of the African Child 2020, with a theme of “Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa,”
The Angecy noted that Nigeria is facing a child rights crisis. It said: “More than 36,000 child victims of violence, including 5,693 survivors of sexual violence (16 percent), were identified and documented in seven states of Nigeria since 2017. But very few of those cases made it to the courtrooms, let alone resulted in justice for child victims.
“At the same time, the number of children awaiting trial for what are often petty crimes is estimated to be more than 1,000 –with children often held in detention with adults and in conditions that no child should live in.
UNICEF said experts in various fields would this week discuss the issues related to the need to develop a child-friendly justice system in Nigeria. No fewer than 800 participants and panelists will deliberate and develop strategies to address the challenge of ensuring that children could access a justice system that considers their special needs and their rights.
“Access to a child-friendly justice system is essential for protecting children’s rights and addressing violence against children. Without access to a child-friendly justice system, children’s rights will remain elusive –and as a society, we cannot serve the best interests of children, especially in the face of violations of their rights,” he added.