BEST-INTEREST-OF-THE-CHILD CONSTITUTION (5)

My dear child I will like to share with you this day the four baskets of rights. Tomorrow, I will share with you your responsibilities. You will not be doing too much talk today and tomorrow. I just beg you to do a lot of listening. Thank you.

The Four Baskets of Children’s Rights According to the Child’s Rights Act, 2003

  • Survival which includes the rights of the child to life, good health, balance nutrition and related matters (see Sections 12 & 13).
  • Development, which include the development of the child, spirit, soul and body (see Sections 15 & 29).
  • Protection, which include protection of the child from child labour, child trafficking, ritual killing, sexual, physical, emotional abuses and neglect (see Sections 21-52).
  • Participation, which include the right of the child to be involved in matters that concerns them (see Sections 3(1) (2), 6. 7, 8, 13, 19 & 20).

Your mum and I believe in the provisions of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 stated above is further broken down as follows:

–  Provisions of freedom from discrimination on the grounds of belonging to a particular community or ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion, the circumstances of birth,

–  Disability, deprivation or political opinion; and it is stated categorically that the dignity of the child shall be respected at all times,

–  No Nigerian child shall be subjected to physical, mental or emotional injury, abuse or neglect, maltreatment, torture, inhuman or degrading punishment, attacks on his/her honour or reputation. Every Nigerian child is entitled to rest, leisure and enjoyment of the best attainable state of physical, mental and spiritual health.

–    Every government in Nigeria shall strive to reduce infant mortality rate, provide medical and health care, adequate nutrition and safe drinking water, hygienic and sanitized environments, combat diseases and malnutrition, support and mobilize through local and community resources, the development of primary health care for children.

–   Provisions for children in need of special protection measures (mentally, physically challenged, or street children): they are protected in a manner that would enable them achieve their fullest, possible social integration, and moral development.

–   Expectant and nursing mothers shall be catered for, and every parent or guardian having legal custody of a child under the age of two years shall ensure its immunization against diseases, or face judicial penalties.

–  Betrothal and marriage of children are prohibited.

–  Causing tattoos or marks, and female genital mutilation/cutting are made punishable offences under the Act; and so also is the exposure to pornographic materials, trafficking of children, their use of narcotic drugs, or the use of children in any criminal activities, abduction and unlawful removal or transfer from lawful custody, and employment of children as domestic helps outside their own home or family environment.

–  Child abduction and forced exploitative labour (which is not of a light nature) or in an industrial undertaking are also stated to be offences. The exceptions to these provisions are where the child is employed by a family member, in work that is of an agricultural or horticultural or domestic in nature, and if such a child is not required to carry or move any thing heavy that is likely to adversely affect its moral, mental, physical spiritual or social development.

–  Buying, selling, hiring or otherwise dealing in children for purpose of begging, hawking, prostitution or for unlawful immoral purposes are made punishable by long terms of imprisonment. Other offences considered grave include sexual abuse, general exploitation which is prejudicial to the welfare of the child, recruitment into the armed forces and the importation /exposure of children to harmful publications. It further preserves the continued application of all criminal law provisions securing the protection of the child whether born or unborn.

Thank you for being a great listener today my darling child. I will be with you again tomorrow.

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