Child’s Rights : UNICEF & Experts Call For Protection Of Child’s Integrity

By Temi Ohakwe, Port Harcourt

The integrity of the Child must be protected in reporting Child’s involvement in matters such as Criminal activities, Sexual abuse and Family problems.

UNICEF Facilitator and Media Expert, Dr Mrs Nancy Ogundimu who said this during a two day Train the Trainers program of UNICEF on the Reviewed Curriculum on Child reporting, held in Port-Harcourt, River State, stated that this is a Child’s Right.

Dr Mrs Ogundimu also said irresponsible reporting of issues on Children could spread prejudices and stereotypes that may have negative influence on public opinion.

According to Dr. Nancy, Nuanced and well informed reporting is a major benefit of the Rights of the child.

She said it was time for Nigeria to portray positive image of the child irrespective of issues involved to create and portray respect for young people.

Presenting a paper on WASH services as a Child’s Right and not only a Human Right, UNICEF Facilitator and WASH Expert, Dr Adedayo Ogundimu said access to Water and Sanitation Hygiene Services WASH, is a Child’s Right and not only a Human Right.

Dr Ogundimu also said out of every two million Nigerians about one point two million are children.

“Access to WASH Services are requirements as a right of a child to grow up and thrive”

Emphasizing the need for the government to strengthen WASH as a Child Right, Ogundimu stated that the National policy on WASH services must be enhanced.

“Strengthening WASH services in Nigeria the government needs to strengthen the National policy,it needs to strengthen Financial systems and monitoring in order to achieve sustainability, resilience and acountability”

“Whatever access the country has in term of water and sanitation nd hygiene, the later population of Nigeria who are children have right to the services”

Dr Ogundimu decried the sustainability challenge facing WASH services in Nigeria saying the result of WASH data in schools and health facilities are not encouraging.

The National under-study jointly sponsored by UNICEF and the African Development Bank revealed highlights of WASH in rural ,urban and other demograohics.

“14percent of schools have basic water supply, sanitation and hygiene services, in health facilities only 7percent of Health facilities have basic water supply, sanitation and hygiene”

UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr. Geoffery Njoku said the Workshop was organised to generate and improve course delivery on Child Rights reporting in Nigerian higher Institutions.

“The review meeting on curriculum of Child Rights reporting Course was organised to generate and improve course delivery in Nigerian higher Institutions”.

One of the participants at the Workshop,Head Department of Mass Communication Nigerian Institute of Journalists, Dr. Jide Johnson, said mainstreaming the Child Rights act into Nigeria higher Institutions curriculum will facilitate the development of the child mentally, physically and other wise.

Dr. Johnson identified the Media and the Academia as two major critical stakeholders in entrenching Child Rights act in the society.

“It is the investment you make in a child today that will determine the future of the child. Entrenching Child Rights in the society will give the child economic independence and give them the confidence to participate in developments issues around them”

Other participants at the meeting agreed that WASH is a Child’s Right affirming that Child’s Rights are not only about abuse, protection but one of the baskets of Child Rights.

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