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How are Nigeria's children?

Nigeria has ratified (pledged to follow) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that Nigeria must respect the rights of the child and listen to what children have to say. Are the rights of the child respected in Nigeria?

91.9 million children

182 million people live in Nigeria. 91.9 million are children, and 31.1 million of the children are under five years old.

Name and nationality

From the day you are born you have the right to have a name and to be registered as a citizen in your country. More than 7 million children are born every year in Nigeria. 7 out of 10 of them are never registered. There is no documented proof that they exist!

Survive and grow

You have the right to life. Nigeria must do all it can to allow children to survive and develop. 1 out of 8 children in Nigeria (750,000 every year) die before the age of 5, usually due to causes that could have been prevented.

Health and well-being

You have the right to food, clean water, medical care and the right to privacy when consulting an adult about any health problem. 7 out of 10 children in Nigeria have water from improved water sources. Only 3 out of 10 children have access to adequate sanitation facilities. 380,000 children live with HIV/AIDS. 1.6 million are AIDS orphans.

A home, clothing, food and security

You have the right to a home, food, clothing, education, health care and security. More than 5 out of 10 children in Nigeria live in extreme poverty with less than 1.90 US-dollar (616 Naira) a day to live on.

Education

You have the right to go to school. Primary and secondary schools should be free for everyone. Almost 7 out of 10 children in Nigeria go to school, but many of them leave school too early.

Protection against violence

You have the right to protection against all forms of violence, including neglect, maltreatment and abuse. Only 60 countries have forbidden all forms of corporal punishment for children. Nigeria has not. Many schools still allow caning.

Hazardous child labour

You have the right to be protected against both economic exploitation and work that is hazardous to your health or which prevents you from going to school. All work is prohibited for children under 12. Some children are forced into the worst forms of child labour, such as being debt slaves, child soldiers or used for commercial sexual exploitation. A large number of children in Nigeria have to work.

Your voice must be heard

You have the right to say what you think about any issue that affects you. The adults should listen to the child’s opinion before they make decisions, which must always be made in the best interest of the child!

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