PROTECTING THE RIGHT OF CHILDREN IN THE MIDST OF VIOLENCE AND INSECURITY:
HELP STOP SEXUAL MOLESTATION OF GIRL/ BOY CHILD.
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED TO STUDENTS OF IMPACT INTERNATIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOL, AKURE
IN COMMEMORATION OF CHILDREN’S DAY CELEBRATION
(EDITOR & REPORTER, RADIO NIGERIA, POSITIVE FM, AKURE)
ON 26TH MAY 2016
International children’s day is a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate and honour children across the world.
One of the reasons for the day is to protect children from long working hours and dangerous situations in the society as well as to give every child the opportunity to acquire formal education.
Also very important here is that the children as part of the makeup of the society have their own rights.
To therefore show how important you are to our society is the reason for declaring May 27 Children’s day (and more so a work free day)
We are however moving away from the norm of March Past under scorching Sun and long speeches by government officials to interact on what really concerns our rights and how we can have a better future.
The topic before us which happens to be the theme for this year’s children’s day: (Protecting The Right Of Children In The Midst Of Violence And Insecurity: Help Stop Sexual Molestation Of Girl/ Boy Child) targets to a large extent our government, parents and teachers role. However that is not to say we have no role to play.
The key role for us is first to know our rights, be observant as to know when our rights are about being abused and as well be confident to resist being molested sexually.
16 OUT OF 54 UNITED NATION’S CONVENTIONS ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
Article 3, (Best interests of the child) The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children
Article 4 Governments must do all they can to make sure every child can enjoy their rights by creating systems and passing laws that promote and protect children’s rights.
Article 6 (life, survival and development) Every child has the right to life. Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive and develop to their full potential.
Article 9 (separation from parents) Children must not be separated from their parents against their will unless it is in their best interests (for example, if a parent is hurting or neglecting a child). Children whose parents have separated have the right to stay in contact with both parents, unless this could cause them harm.
Article 12 (respect for the viewsof the child) Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affcting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life.
Article 13 (freedom of expression) Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
Article 15 (freedom of association) Every child has the right to meet with other children and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
Article 16 (right to privacy) Every child has the right to privacy. The law should protect the child’s private, family and home life, including protecting children from unlawful attacks that harm their reputation
Article 19 (protection from violence, abuse and neglect) Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them
Article 28 (right to education) Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and diffrent forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this
Article 29 (goals of education) Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment
Article 31 (leisure, play and culture) Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities
Article 32 (child labour) Governments must protect children from economic exploitation and work that is
dangerous or might harm their health, development or education. Governments must set a minimum age for children to work and ensure that work conditions are safe and appropriate.
Article 34 (sexual exploitation) Governments must protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation
Article 35 (abduction, sale and traffiing) Governments must protect children from being abducted, sold or moved illegally to a different place in or outside their country for the purpose of exploitation.
Article 37 (inhumane treatment and detention) Children must not be tortured, sentenced to the death penalty or suffer other cruel or degrading treatment or punishment. Children should be arrested, detained or imprisoned onlyas a last resort and for the shortest time possible. They must be treated with respect and care, and be able to keep in contact with their family. Children must not be put in prison with adults.
How Could Children’s Right be Abused
Ignorance, Apathy, insensitivity to children’s right by the government, violence and insecurity, carelessness on the part of the parents.
Sexual Abuse/ Molestation of the girl/boy child?
It is touching sensitive/ private part of the boy/ girl child in order for the offender to satisfy his or her sexual pleasure. An advanced stage of this is the real sex and rape. It is a crime that involves sexual acts with children up to the age of 18 and punishable. Non touching activities include Pornography.
Child sexual abuse statistics
The prevalence of child sexual abuse is difficult to determine because it is often not reported. Experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities.
- 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
- Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
- Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.
According to a 2003 National Institute of Justice report, 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well
A study conducted in 1986 found that 63% of women who had suffered sexual abuse by a family member also reported a rape or attempted rape after the age of 14
Children who had an experience of rape or attempted rape in their adolescent years were 13.7 times more likely to experience rape or attempted rape in their first year of college
A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child may become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults, and can become suicidal
Children who do not live with both parents as well as children living in homes marked by parental discord, divorce, or domestic violence, have a higher risk of being sexually abused
Child sexual abuse is not solely restricted to physical contact; such abuse could include noncontact abuse, such as exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography. Compared to those with no history of sexual abuse, young males who were sexually abused were five times more likely to cause teen pregnancy,
Signs of Molestation in Children/ Adolescent
- Fear of certain things, people, places, activities
- Behavioural regression, stranger anxiety
- Withdrawal from loved ones
- Feeling shameful or guilty
- Doing poorly in class
- Promiscuous activities
- Suicidal thoughts and gestures
- Running away from home
- Early pregnancy
How to Avoid Child Abuse/ Molestation
- Educating children about what sexual abuse is (Distinguishing among good, bad, and confusing touches)
- Knowing potential abusers e.g parents, uncle, friends, etc
- Report it. You wont get into trouble but get relieved of the psychological implication
- Avoid pornographic scenes/ movies
- Know you are a unique being and your body is precious
- Develop good communication skills with your parents and talk to them about your friends and daily activities
- Sex education—this encourages children to speak up and get informed on this menace of abuse
- Be mindful of hugging, kissing of the opposite sex
The National Centre for Victims of Crime: