Female genital mutilation, worst human rights violation in Nigeria — UNICEF

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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has described Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as one of the worst Human Rights violations in the country.

A Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF, Mrs Nkiru Maduechesi said this in Akure, the Ondo state capital at a three-day workshop for training of law enforcement agencies and judiciary officers on the anti Female Genital Mutilation law.

Maduechesi said that “FGM was one of the worst human rights violations that had been in the country for generations because of the life long traumatic effects that a girl child would carry for the rest of his life.

“As a social norm, people are not seeing it as a crime, as an offence, that is why UNICEF is investing together with our partners in community dialogue, moving from community to community.

“Since the inception of this programme with our partners, UNFPA, we have supported over 594 communitiess to have public declaration from their traditional ruler to the least person.

“Actually we have evidence that this girl child violence is reducing, we can say that we are making progress.

“According to the current national demographic survey,we have move from twenty five per cent in 2014 to twenty per cent but what we are looking for is zero tolerance to violence against girl child.

“All stakeholders should come together to put this in front as the agenda to fight against child violence,”.

Maduechesi said that the organisation was driving towards achieving zero tolerance and to make law enforcers to be more aware of the dangers of FGM.

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According to her part of the problem facing the frontline workers in eradicating the menace totally was because it was a sort of social norm and people, including some law enforcement agencies,are not seeing it as a crime.

Maduechesi said the essence of the training workshop on enforcement of FGM laws across the states and to strengthen the knowledge of law enforcers towards enforcement of laws to protect our girl child.

She noted that “the training would also help stakeholders on how best to get justice for survivors of FGM and how to strengthen the system to achieve zero tolerance.

The programme was organised by the Federal Ministry of Information, Child Rights Information Bureau in Collaboration with UNICEF and participants were drawn from Osun, Oyo and Ekiti states.

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