Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Ambode vows to end violence against children in Lagos

In response to President Muhammadu Buhari's call for every state to initiate their own campaign to end violence against children, VAC, the Lagos state government has flagged off its campaign, promising to enact legislation to end violence against children. 

The ground breaking event was in collaboration with the US Mission in Nigeria, United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF and other development partners. 

Speaking at the launch, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Sanni Eshinlokun, said the state and the nation as a whole had a clear moral, legal and economic obligation to end violence against children. 

Ambode said priority will be taken by state and non-state actors in the short and long-term to effectively prevent and respond to violence against children, stating that, “we cannot allow the findings or the priority actions to remain on paper." 

Speaking at the launch, US Embassy Chargé d’ Affairs, ad interim, Maria Brewer said, “We have made progress in this fight but much still remains to be done. All children must be protected from abuse, violence, exploitation, and neglect. Violence against children is never justified. Violence is preventable.” 

In her speech, UNICEF Representative, Ms Jean Gough, said Lagos has set an example for the rest of Nigeria in the fight against violence against children, hoping that other states will follow suit. 

According to the Nigeria VAC survey carried out by the National Population Commission with support from UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gough said, "Millions of children suffer violence every year in Nigeria. Approximately six out of every 10 children experience some form of physical, emotional and sexual violence before the age of 18 years.

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