From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia
Nasarawa State Government and SMILE/Sustainable Mechanism for improving livelihoods and Household Empowerment) have urged media practitioners in the state to be fully involve in the crusade of “End Violence against Children”
Speaking during a one day sensitization and consultative forum held at the State Ministry of Women Affairs/Social Development Lafia, the state capital Saturday, with the media practitioners on the Nasarawa State “End Violence Against Children” with the Theme “Together, let us End Violence Against Children”, The Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development Mrs. Asibi Mary Ogabo said that Nasarawa State Government is working effectively across segments to end violence against children in the state as well as implored Journalists to propagate the message to the general domain.
Also highlighting the background of the End Violence Against Children in Nigeria and the proposed campaign in Nasarawa State, the State Co-ordinator of SMILE Project Vivian Efem Bassey said that the objective of the SMILE project is to mobilize Nigerians to take action and the consequent lunch of the year of Action to “End Violence Against Children” as well as called on the stakeholders such as Government, Civil Society, religions and traditional rulers, faith based organizations, private sector, families and communities to join together to ensure that all children can grow up free from violence.
According to Bassey “The prevalence of physical, sexual and emotional Violence Against children is high in the state and Nigeria as a whole as according to her “Most children never tell anyone what has happened to them and few children ever get the help they need to recover”.
The SMILE Project State Co-ordinator further said that so far six (6) states have launched the campaign and are currently implementing the response as well as commended UNICEF for the launch in six States of the federation.
Earlier, the consultant facilitating “End Violence Against Children” EAC Mr. Nathaniel Msem asserted that findings showed that violence against children is high in the state & Nigeria as a whole adding that prevention and intervention strategies is to create a protective environment in schools, homes, community, promoting stable and nurturing relationship as well as implementing laws and policies to have a protective environment for children.