By Isoken Nwabunka
In my role as a mother, wife, and passionate advocate for children’s rights in Nigeria, I have seen first-hand the boundless potential and tenacity of Nigerian youth. They are the foundation of our culture, the forerunners of our society, and the creators of the innovations that will shape our country. Allow me to delve into the important topic of children’s rights in Nigeria, with a special emphasis on the legal safeguards currently in place to prevent the exploitation and abuse of young people in the country. Then, we will dive into our communal duty to care for and equip the next generation with the help of some wise African proverbs. In addition, I would want to issue a passionate call to action, urging young women aged 12-21 to take part in a revolutionary mentoring programme that teaches them essential life and business skills that will pave the path to a successful and fulfilling future.
Legislation in Nigeria, such as the Child Rights Act (2003) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), protects the rights of every child in the country. The physical, mental, and emotional well-being of Nigeria’s children is guaranteed by these statutes.
The Nigerian constitution guarantees all children the right to a safe and supportive home life, as well as the freedom to express themselves and receive a good education. It is our joint responsibility to guarantee that every child has access to these rights, as they are the foundation upon which that child’s future growth and development rest.
Neglect and abuse of children continue to be a major problem in Nigeria, endangering the next generation. Violations like as physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as child labour and trafficking, require immediate attention. Such behaviour must be strongly condemned, and every effort must be made to ensure that our children grow up in a secure and nurturing community.
Efforts to raise public consciousness about the issue of child abuse through educational initiatives are crucial. The best way to protect our children is to build a culture of vigilance and awareness in our communities about the devastating effects of abuse. The systems in place to report wrongdoing need to be bolstered so that victims feel safe coming forward and offenders are held accountable.
African proverbs such as “it takes a village to raise a child” give invaluable insight that can guide our efforts to protect children’s rights in Nigeria. This adage emphasises the need of everyone doing their part to care for and safeguard the next generation. It serves as a prompt reminder of the importance of collaboration between parents, extended family, teachers, community leaders, and policymakers in creating a secure and nurturing environment for every child.
“A child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.” This profound adage emphasises the value of welcoming and caring for all children. This serves as a sobering reminder that the effects of being ignored or cast aside may be devastating, leaving people open to exploitation or dangerous habits. It is our responsibility to care for and encourage the development of every child.
With this in mind, I would like to extend an invitation to young women aged 12-21. As they set out on their path to success, our mentorship programmes will be there to provide them with the life and business skills they need to succeed.
Mentoring, coaching, and training in fundamentals like goal setting, decision making, leadership, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship will be provided through this life-altering curriculum. Our mission is to give young women a voice by sparking their interest in meaningful work, developing their skills, and encouraging them to persevere through adversity. We are preparing them for a successful and happy future by giving them the tools they need to face and triumph over adversity.
We at Isoken Nwabunka Foundation hope that young women will get in touch with us to learn more about our mentoring initiative. Working together, we can help these young women reach their full potential and become leaders in Nigeria’s economic and social growth.
Let me end by stressing that the rights of Nigerian children are not merely lofty ideals, but rather the cornerstones of a fair and flourishing society. As a community, we have a responsibility to prevent child abuse and exploitation and to see that these rights are respected. Let us take heart and guidance from the ancient African proverbs, and work together to provide a prosperous future for every child in Nigeria. Young women, take advantage of this chance to join our mentorship programme; with our support, you may unlock your full potential and pave the way to a bright and satisfying future.
*Mrs. Isoken Nwabunka is a wife, mother and administrator. She is the author of the book, Isoken, and Founder, Isoken Nwabunka Foundation. She lives in Lagos.