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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

When the various human rights documents are considered, even though they are applicable to all human beings, they are not necessarily child specific and fail to address the peculiar needs of children. For the rights of the child, an International law or “International Convention” was required. On 20th November 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), whilst the OAU Assembly of Heads of States and Governments adopted the African Union Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (CRCW) in July 1990.

Nigeria has signed both International Instruments and had ratified them in 1991 and 2000 respectively. Both international instruments contain universal set of standards and principles for survival, development, protection and participation of children. It reflects children as human beings and as subjects of their own rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) outlines the human rights to be respected and protected for every child under the age of 18 years and requires that these rights are implemented.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Since the independence of Nigeria, rivalries between different groups of the population have regularly turned into violent conflicts. Despite great hope for an improvement of the overall human rights situation in Nigeria with the "inauguration of the elected government of President Olusegun Obasanjo in May 1999", the political crisis that the country faced in 1999 and continuation of “communal conflicts” severely affected the Nigerian population, including children. Many of them have died, lost their parents, were left disabled or were internally displaced because of these clashes.

Children have also been severely affected by the economic crises faced by the country in 1999, which has led to an increase in the number of children living in poverty or extreme poverty. Among other dangerous consequences, poverty made more children to live and/or work in the street and has increased their vulnerability to trafficking.

Moreover, there is a severe lack of financial resources allocated to the protection and promotion of children’s rights. Consequently, mechanisms for protection and promotion of children remain "weak, uncoordinated and not in line with Nigeria's obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women". Although statistics differ somehow depending on the source - "Nigeria has one of the world's worst rates of maternal and infant mortality". According to the United Nations population Fund (UNFPA), "more than 72 children out of every 1000 born alive die before their first birthday,” while the UNPD places the infant mortality rate on 110/1000.

1.3   Objectives of the Study

1.  To know the contributions of UNICEF on child right in Nigeria.

2.  To examine whether child right Act is appropriately implemented in Nigeria.

3.  To ascertain the challenges of child right Act in Nigeria.

 

1.4   Research Questions

1. What are the contributions of UNICEF on child right in Nigeria?

2. Is child right Act appropriately implemented in Nigeria?

3. What are the challenges of child right Act in Nigeria.

1.5   Research Hypotheses

Ho: UNICEF does not significantly contribute on child right in Nigeria.

Hi: UNICEF significantly contributes on child right in Nigeria.

1.6   Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work.

This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a bench mark or guide for other work or study. It avails individuals with information about child right and the contributions of UNICEF.

1.7   Scope/Limitations of the Study

This study is on UNICEF and child right in Nigeria.

 

Limitations of study

1.        Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

2.        Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8   Definition of Terms

Child Right:The United Nations' 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

UNICEF:The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund is a United Nations program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.


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