The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has advocated for de-radicalisation of children who were armed and manipulated to serve as suicide bombers for the Boko Haram insurgents to enable them live a normal life.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah who made the advocacy in Abuja as Nigeria observes the 2017 Day of African Child said there is ample evidence in Nigeria, particularly in the North East that armed conflicts inflict violence on and negatively impact the lives of children, whether as victims or as (forced) perpetrators of acts of violence. Day of African Child is celebrated on June 16 every year.
Mrs. Ovrawah observed that availing these children who are victims of the insurgency in the North East the necessary psychosocial support before reintegrating them back to the society would go a long way in assisting them to imbibe the core values of humanity.
She also commended the federal government efforts in rescuing the Chibok girls saying that it provides an opportunity to design a holistic response system for victims of violence.
The Acting Head of the Commission also uses this opportunity to adopt the position of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the child on the need to internalise the intersection of the SDGs and child rights in Nigeria by focusing more on children as a vulnerable group demanding specific recognition. The Commission specifically calls for:
Increased prioritization of children’s rights in the national budget through increased budgetary allocation for child rights implementation.
A more inclusive education system through the provision of specialized learning facilities and key personnel for children with disabilities and rural children.
Increased community mobilization for birth registration and extension of birth registration facilities to IDP camps.
Development and adoption of a holistic, integrated approach for responding to Violence Against Children through capacity enhancement and provision of requisite spaces for children, using the rescued Chibok girls as a case in point.
Monitoring and reporting on the SDGs for improved, sustainable accountability
Effective implementation of a child-friendly justice system
mainstreaming of human rights in the school curriculum.
Principal Public Affairs Officer, NHRC