The United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), has pledged to support programmes targeted at promoting the rights of children in Nigeria’s local communities.
UNICEF Country Representative, Mr Peter Hawkins, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at a ceremony to mark the 2019 International World Children’s Day.
The theme of the 2019 World Children’s Day is “Children of Today, Our Keepers Tomorrow”.
Hawkins also said that more attention must be paid to educating the children to enable them know and defend their rights in society.
He said that the celebration of the 2019 World Children’s Day, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), was to showcase the talent of the Nigerian child and re-affirm the need to value and recognise his or her rights.
He described the Nigerian child as the light, dream and the hope of tomorrow.
“Thirty years ago, world leaders made a commitment to the world’s children by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which made provision for 42 rights in the passports as enshrined in the convention on the rights of the child.
“Every Nigerian Child is born with a talent and a future.
“Today, UNICEF Nigeria says the children are the tomorrow of Nigeria; that is why this year’s 2019 world Children’s Day, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the CRC, provides a platform to showcase their talent,” he said.
Addressing the students of Government Day Secondary School, Garki, a special guest at the event, Mr Cobhams Asuquo, said that the Nigerian children have the chance and opportunity to re-write all that is wrong with the country.
According to him, “you are all that is right with Nigeria because you all have the chance to re-write all the wrongs the previous generations before committed. I envy you all because you have the chance”.
Cobhams, who called for equal and better treatment of the Nigerian child, challenged the students to do better than anyone they had ever admired in the society.
“Greatness is achievable for all Nigerian children; you are everything that is right with Nigeria and you have a chance to make it better and greatness is in you and you all deserved to be treated well,” he said.
In his statement to the children of the world, the UN Secretary-General, Anthonio Gutteres, called on the governments of the world to build on advances and re-commit to putting children first.
Gutteres said: “Around the world, children are showing us their strength and leadership. They are advocating for a more sustainable world for all. Let’s build on advances and re-commit to putting children first.”
The event showcased dance competitions with two winners receiving a cell phone each.