By Gloria Ikibah
The United Nations Children's Fund has held a 2-Day Training of Trainers on the presentation of a new curriculum for Child Rights Reporting for Polytechnics in Nigeria from Thursday March 24 to 26, 2023, in Enugu State.
In her welcome address Director of Advocacy and Child Rights Information Bureau, Ministry of Information, Mercy Megwa, commended UNICEF for their partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and support in ensuring that the Rights of the Nigerian Child is being protected.
Represented by Zira Zakka Nagga,
Chief Information Officer in the Ministry, she explained: “This new curriculum and manual for Journalism/Mass Communications as well as instructors guide have been developed to fill these gaps for Polytechnics.
“In view of the above, this will facilitate the movement of all journalists from the present level of Child Rights awareness to a certain degree of knowledge there by bringing about the needed paradigm shift in reporting children and expose them to the rights to survival, development, protection and participation”.
In her address, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Enugu, Juliet Chiluwe, commended the University Lecturers for onboarding the course, Child (CRRC) for Rights Reporting for mass communication students and a general studies module of the curriculum.
Naijablitznews.com recalled that Nigeria's Child Rights Act was assented to by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in September 2003, and promulgated as the Child's Rights Act 2003.
Chiluwe stated since the 2023 UNICEF continues to partner with the media, communication institutions and other development partners in diverse ways to promote child's rights and mainstream it in all core areas of working for children.
“Communicating children's rights is a challenge. A broad range of abuses against children emanating from ignorance of what constitutes child's right. This is where the media has
a critical role to play and am proud to say that media remains UNICEF's very close ally in ensuring wider information spread on issues of child rights.
“This great opportunity helps to broaden the scope of knowledge and exposure of the communication students and practitioners of Mass Communication by way of infusion of the Child Rights concerns, which are also topical concerns for human development”, she added.
She congratulated the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, Anambra State for taking this first step to further mainstream child rights curriculum, by electing the CRRC as a general studies course, making it compulsory for
in-school mass communicators.
“It is indeed applaudable and urge other partnering Universities and communication institutions to emulate this feat as recorded by NAU in
the interest of fostering child rights reportage in Nigeria”, the UNICEF Chief said.
Naijablitznews.com reports that a child is a person under the age 18 as defined by the child Rights Act 2003 and the convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989 and entered into force in September 1990. The Convention outlines in 41 articles the human rights to be respected and protected for every child under the age of eighteen years.