Children’s day is one that has never been celebrated behind gadgets of all sorts but the global pandemic has decided to rewrite history.
May 27th is celebrated as Children’s day in Nigeria but this year it hits differently.
Although there has been an effort to unite kids with their friends using certain applications like zoom, still there’s the social vacuum that’s been created as most children are starting to get too comfortable behind gadgets in communicating and socializing.
On the flip side, due to the digital advancement, most children seem to be learning technological skills that previous generations didn’t get to learn till they became adults.
Amid the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, this years’ Children’s Day Celebration affords us the opportunity of putting in place the necessary machinery for the protection of our children. Adults should be made to understand that children have rights which should be protected. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 1989, signed and ratified by Nigeria remains the benchmark for assessing the rights of our children. The CRC states that every child, before and after birth, should have a right to life, right to basic education, right not to be coerced to engage in any unlawful sexual activity, right not to be abducted and sold into slavery, freedom of expression, right not to be used for forced labour, child trade, child trafficking etc.
In Nigeria, the Child Act promotes the rights of children, but unfortunately only about 16 out of the 36 States of the federation have so far embraced the Act. Those who are objecting to the Act are doing so on cultural and religious reasons. Now is the time to reach a consensus on the legal frame work that will protect our children from exploitation, abuse and death.
Our children should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, socially in a healthy environment and in conditions of freedom and dignity. That is the only way we can hope to nurture the future leaders of tomorrow.
Although the global pandemic makes it almost impossible for parents to take kids out for a treat on their special day, we do hope you all have a beautiful isolated celebration to mark your day.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see” – John F. Kennedy.
Happy Children’s Day!!!