By Grace Orok
The Cross River State Government has launched a campaign to end violence against children reiterating its commitment towards upholding the dictates of the Child Rights Law 2003.
The State Governor Senator Ben Ayade while delivering a keynote address on the occasion, acknowledged the fact that violence against children, if not curbed, has the potential to stall their growth and development thereby affecting the whole society “because they are the future leaders”.
Revealing that Cross River is the second in the country to launch the campaign, Governor Ayade who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu vowed that the State will stop at nothing in making sure that violence against children is brought to the minimal.
He added that Cross River, which is the second state in Nigeria to launch the campaign, would continue to take holistic measures in ensuring the end of violence against children in the State. He concluded by calling on all and sundry to join the fight.
On her part, while speaking, Jean Gough, representative of UNICEF Nigeria and ECOWAS stated that surveys have shown that about nine million children are abused yearly in Nigeria.
Represented by Rachael Harvey, Chief Child Protector for Nigeria, she said according to the survey on Nigerian Violence against Children of last year (September) by the National Population Commission with support from UNICEF and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six out of every ten children suffer one form of abuse.
Concluding, she enjoined Government at all levels, NGOs, faith based organizations, media among others to take the issues raised serious and contribute meaningfully to end violence against children.
High point of the event was the unveiling of the Cross River State Priority Actions Document which is said to be a road map to how the goals of the campaign will be achieved.