By Sunny A Ijomah
UNICEF has called for proactive measures and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges facing children in Nigeria and the African continent.
A statement signed by the Chief of UNICEF Field Office Enugu, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh said the Day of African Child serves as another opportunity to highlight the plight of children and need to protect their rights.
It noted that African Children’s Charter as supervised by the African Children Committee, provides an effective framework for advancing children’s rights and existence of an effective child-friendly legislative policy, child’s birth and other vital statistics, free from the impacts of armed conflicts and other disasters or emergencies as well as access to the basic necessities of life.
Dr. Conteh assured that UNICEF will continue to champion the welfare of children and has remained committed in protecting them against COVID-19 pandemic and other health challenges.
The statement called on African leaders to put necessary logistics frameworks in place to increase vaccination programme on the continent as well as increase sensitization of the people to discourage vaccination apathy.
He lamented that coronavirus outbreak has affected the enjoyment of children’s in various ways including feeding and nutrition, healthcare, water and sanitation.
While explaining that various interventions have been carried out to improve the challenge of hunger, which contributes about forty-five percent of childhood mortality, while there should also be holistic approach to promotion of juvenile justice and abolition of the death penalty.
The statement urged stakeholders to ensure that policies and programs are designed to promote and protect the best interest of every child including their participation in activities, non-discrimination and right to life.
Day of the African Child 2021 has the theme “30 years implementation of agenda 2040 for African fit for children.”