North America

United Nation to query Nigeria government for child rights violations

On May 26, 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) will question representatives of the Nigerian government on Nigeria’s 3rd and 4th periodic report into children’s rights in Nigeria.

This report described the state of children’s rights in Nigeria and provided information on the ways in which the government has been attempting to address problems and areas of weakness.

A list of pre-sessional questions drawn up by the CRC identified a number of priority areas regarding the protection of children’s rights in Nigeria.

These include child labour, education, HIV/AIDS and harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, as well as the broader detrimental effects that poverty and corruption have on children’s rights.

The negative impact that child witchcraft accusations have on children’s rights in Nigeria was also identified as a key challenge by the CRC.

Although the Nigerian state report did not identify human rights abuses resulting from child witchcraft stigmatisation to be a problem, this issue was brought to the attention of the CRC by the child rights organisation Stepping Stones Nigeria (SSN).

The various ways in which child witchcraft stigmatisation has a negative effect on children’s human rights in Nigeria were detailed by SSN in their Shadow Report to the CRC in 2009.

It is expected that the CRC will now require the Nigerian government to explain the various measures that it will take to eliminate violations of children’s rights, including witchcraft-related abuse.

Through its Concluding Observations on Nigeria, which will be issued in mid-June, the CRC will identify both the main challenges regarding the protection of children’s rights in Nigeria, and what the Nigerian government is expected to do in order to address these problems.

Child rights campaigners have welcomed the focus on child witchcraft in Nigeria by the CRC.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.

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