Displacement and Children's Rights: Advancing Media Advocacy for Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development in Nigeria

Displacement and Children's Rights: Advancing Media Advocacy for Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development in Nigeria

Faith O. Olanrewaju (Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Nigeria), Lady A. Ajayi (Covenant University, Nigeria), Adekunle O. Olanrewaju (Covenant University, Nigeria), Oluwatimilehin Deinde-Adedeji (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Ejiroghene R. Loromeke (Covenant University, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0329-4.ch010
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This chapter examines the relationship amongst displacement, education, and sustainable national development. It pays attention to the effects of displacement on the rights of children to education in Nigeria. Data for the study were obtained via in-depth interviews from key informants and focus group discussions (FGDs) amongst internally displaced women in a government-managed and faith-based IDP camps in the Adamawa State as well as informal settlements in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on the quality of education offered in the camps. Findings from the study show that wide gaps exist between the education received by displaced children and the expectations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The study argues that the educational exclusivity of displaced children would have adverse effects on the sustainable development of the Nigerian state as it would decrease awareness of values about their civic duties needed for sustainable development. It thus recommends for increased media advocacy in pushing for better implementation of inclusive education in Nigeria.
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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) declares that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights without discrimination” (UDHR, 1948). Thus, children’s rights are human rights or reversely stated, human rights are also the rights of children too. However, the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) adopted in 1990 remains the foremost legally binding treaty protecting the rights of children amongst which is the right to education. During emergencies, such as displacement and conflicts, these rights are often disregarded thereby leading to exposures to physical, psychological and sexual risks that violate their human rights. The situation is even more disturbing as displaced children represent at least half of the population in a conflict zone or during conflict.

The Nigerian displacement challenge has become a major global concern with grave consequences. Unfortunately, displacement does not have equal effects on men, women and children. Children and women, belonging to the most vulnerable groups, suffer the most (Skujyte, 2011). Asides the challenges such as malnutrition, fear, diseases, insecurity, sexual and gender-based violations, infant mortality, starvation, lack of portable water, poor shelter, trauma and insecurity that displaced persons face, education has been grossly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency induced displacement in Nigeria (Ajayi & Soyinka-Airewele, 2018). Very significantly, the vulnerability of displaced children is further exacerbated by their deprivation of inclusive education in spite of the legal obligation of the government to ensure freedoms of the citizens including children and the enjoyment of fundamental rights (Cotroneo, 2017).

A very salient reality remains that children in IDP camps go through traumatic experiences. However, the challenges that displaced children face are not made public and they are often left to the government which has proven to be insufficient in handling their situations. The media has tremendously contributed to the exposure of the daunting multifaceted challenges such as food insecurity, poor shelter, and health challenges confronting displaced children in Nigeria. Much efforts have not addressed the pronouncement of the disenfranchisement of the displaced children to inclusive education vis-à-vis their displaced counterparts. Hence, the need for the media as an interventionist tool or institution of publicity to expose to the public realm what displaced children are going through and to advocate for necessary /viable contributions or supports from individuals, NGOs, international community and other stakeholders and to also mobilise resources such as funds, personnel and training amongst other to change the fortune of the children. This chapter, therefore, addresses the social inequality as regards the education of displaced children viz a viz their non-displaced counterparts. It explores the current educational realities in IDP camps and examines the challenges displaced children experience with regards to the rights to education in Nigeria. It investigates trends in literature on the nexus between inclusive education and sustainable development and presents the possible effects of the educational exclusivity of displaced children on the sustainable development of the Nigerian state. Lastly, this chapter proposes the need for intensified media advocacy to ensure the inclusive and equitable quality education for displaced children in Nigeria knowing fully well that education is a germane aspect of sustainable development.

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