Every year, million of children in Nigeria suffer physical, sexual and emotional violence. Ending violence against children is not ‘just’ a child protection or child rights issue and a moral imperative. failure to invest in tackling violence against children leads to substantial social and economic losses (estimated at 2-8% of Gross Domestic Product). There is also a growing evidence base to demonstrate that preventing violence can promote economic growth.
In Nigeria, the prevention of an effective response to violence against children has been linked to the sustainable development of the nation: “All children are safe from abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect” is one of the six commitments of the National Priority Agenda (NPA) for Vulnerable Children 2013-2020. These six core commitments of Nigeria’s government will, if fulfilled, contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020. This elevates the importance of the issue of violence against children and recognizes that reducing children’s vulnerability will positively and directly impact Nigeria’s economic and social well being and development.
Therefore, Nigerian children were all gathered together today at ICC in Abuja to raise their voices on the issues of violence against them across the country.