Child Protection and Development in Nigeria: Towards a More Functional Media Intervention

Child Protection and Development in Nigeria: Towards a More Functional Media Intervention

Stellamaris Ngozi Okpara (Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0329-4.ch004

Abstract

It is unarguably true that one of the social institutions from which children need protection is the media. This is because some media content violates and poses a harmful influence on their development. The media has been accused of being weak in protecting the rights of Nigerian children from the standpoint of the content it disseminates. This chapter focuses on the power of the media to advocate for the child's rights and shape the childhood process through its content. The study discovered that media outlets are not predisposed to reporting issues regarding child rights but rather place more attention on entertainment programmes that attract big sponsors. The study recommends that media content should focus on promoting child rights issues in Nigeria.
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Background

Childhood is a significant period in human life, characterised by physical as well as poignant immaturity and susceptibility, unlike adulthood, resulting in a lack of autonomy and social dependence. The chronological age used in marking the boundary between childhood and adulthood is mostly set at 18 years, although social markers such as migration, labour, and physical markers such as height, facial hair, or the start of menstruation may be more important than age in signifying adult status in some locations (Evans, 2012). It must be stated that there are disparaging views on the concept of a child. Mosby's Medical Dictionary (2009) avers that a child is a person between the time of birth and adolescence. Further, Article 2 of Children and Young Persons Act (CYPA), enacted in Eastern, Western and Northern regions of Nigeria defined a child as a person within the age bracket 0 and 14 years of age (Oyero, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Values: A set of important principles and ethos by which an individual or a group of people are bound.

Socialisation: The adoption of the norms of a people.

Childhood: The phase of life that covers infancy and adolescence, and when one still requires care and protection by others.

Child Rights Act: Adapted by Nigeria in 2003 through an Act of Parliament, it serves as a legal documentation that ensures the protection of children in Nigeria.

UNICEF: United Nations Children's Fund.

Child Protection: To shield a minor from any form of danger, including harassment, violence and neglect, especially as guaranteed by Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Nigerian Children: A minor of Nigerian descent who is required to remain under the tutelage of their parents or guardian till they attain maturity.

Child Abuse: Any action that violates the rights of a child in any form, which can take various forms, including physical, psychological and social.

Adulthood: The phase of life when one has come of age and can decide between right and wrong, and when one is expected to be responsible for minors.

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