BBOG Statement: Universal Children’s Day 2015
20 November 2015
The Universal Children’s Day, a day set aside to promote the welfare of children worldwide. 61 years ago, the world made a promise to children: that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn, play, grow, to make their voices heard, and to reach their full potentials when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in December 1954. Today, marks 26 years when the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the Assembly in 1989. Over the past decades the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the Declaration of the Rights of the Child have proven to be a valuable instrument for promoting the rights of children around the world. The near-global ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Children reflects acceptance to the basics of children’s right. Nevertheless much work remains to be done in adding action to these lofty goals.
We join in calling on everyone to acknowledge the importance of actively promoting the welfare of the world’s children as important members of the society who need security, opportunities and reliability to grow to their full potential and to help to make a better and safer world for them.
This year’s theme focuses on Ending Violence Against Children in all forms: physical, sexual, emotional, economic, etc. In Nigeria for instance, statistics show that 1 in 10 boys, and 1 in 4 girls suffer sexual violence before age 18. Half would have been intentionally burned, hit, punched, whipped, and threatened with a weapon. 10.5 million of them are out of school. That is more than the population of many countries. Of these twice as many girls as boys. All these are unacceptable!
As a Movement, we call on governments at all levels in Nigeria to:
– recommit to the action plan signed with UN to end violations against children
– ensure that the Child Rights Act passed in 2003, to protect the children’s rights is implemented to the letter
– ensure that every child has the right to the same measure of special care, assistance and maintenance as its necessary for their development
– promote awareness at all levels of government and among members of the public, including children, of matters relating to children’s rights, including the principles and provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; and
– ensure that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
We count on the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure these actions are implemented in order to breed children that can positively impact their society.
This September the UN included the target to eliminate violence as part of the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs). We call on all to work assiduously in achieving this worthy goal. Studies prove the connection between a violence-free society for children to economic growth. Also, that children who experience violence are prone to deploy same as adults. It’s time to end this cycle.
Today is 585 days of our #ChibokGirls’ abduction, and 570 days of consistent daily advocacy for their rescue and safe return. Our Chibok schoolgirls represent the worst of child abuse that can ever be imagined. We call on all this day to continue to stand for them to raise our voices louder, more so as the December deadline to rescue and bring them back safely is less than 42 days away.
For and on behalf of: #BringBackOurGirls
HADIZA BALA USMAN