Perception on Child Rights Protection and Media Performance Among Kuje Internally Displaced Persons' Camp, Abuja, Nigeria

Perception on Child Rights Protection and Media Performance Among Kuje Internally Displaced Persons' Camp, Abuja, Nigeria

Felix Chidozie Chidozie (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Augustine Ejiroghene Oghuvbu (Covenant University, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0329-4.ch013
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This essay examines media and child rights protection in Nigeria, using Kuje IDPs Camp in Abuja, FCT as a case study. It argues that the media has important and indispensable roles to play in enabling the promotion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Nigeria's Child Rights Act, 2003. The study adopted the qualitative method through interviews and focus group discussions conducted at the Kuje IDPs Camp. Findings suggest that the Nigerian government is not committed to implementing the prescription of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Child Rights Act, thus further jeopardizing the already fractured rights of the of children in IDPs camps in Nigeria. Similarly, the media is not paying attention to the plight of the displaced children. The prescriptions advanced in this study as well as the conclusions reached are relevant for policy makers at the national, regional, and international levels responsible for the rights of the children, especially the Nigerian child.
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Child Rights protection is a fundamental aspect of International Human Rights Law which serves to protect children and minors from political, economic or social repression by various national, regional and international actors. Hence, International Human Rights Law sets out the basic protections that all individuals are entitled to, including children and expressly recognizes the duty of states to respect, ensure and fulfill these rights. This has become necessary in view of the preponderance of state as an actor in international relations. To be sure, numerous cases of state violation of the rights of children have been clearly documented by scholars, policy makers, international and inter-regional agencies as well as the global media (Nordveit, 2010; Adesina, 2014; Gabel, 2014; Ogunniran, 2017). This systematic abuse of children’s rights has manifested in forms of hunger, starvation, homelessness, illiteracy, sexual violence, physical abuse, forced labour, forced marriage, child trafficking, slavery, prostitution, forced recruitment into armed groups and other varied and complex risks (Internews Europe, 2014). Despite the national and international coalition efforts to arrest this ugly trend, shockingly, the high rise in child’s rights violations continues. The reason often adduced for the general interest over the protection of the rights of children by multiple agencies and organizations at domestic and international levels, is simply the vulnerability of this segment of the population to the vagaries of international politics. Thus, scholarship on media protection of the rights of children has undoubtedly attracted volumes of literature over many decades (Davies, 2014; Morris and Davies, 2018; Livingstone, 2016; Oyero, 2010).

However, media coverage of the protection of the rights of Children is even more challenging in conflict situations because of the precarious and often violent nature of certain conflicts. Indeed, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, 2012 p. 7) reports ‘that almost half of all forcibly displaced persons globally are children – over 12 million girls and boys’. The report further stated ‘that 46% refugees, 54% stateless persons, 47% Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and 56% refugees living in camps are children’ (UNHCR, 2012 p. 7). For example, the Syrian civil war has claimed an estimated casualty of half a million since the war began in 2011 according to statistics released from Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR, 2018) with another 13 million displaced by the conflict (Connor, 2018). Precisely, it is estimated that there have been almost 207,000 civilian casualties since the beginning of the conflict, and about 25,000 of them were children (SCPR, 2018). Added to this is that the humanitarian crisis triggered by the war in Syria is similarly profound. According to the International Rescue Committee (2018), nearly 2 million children are out-of-school and another 3 million face dangers of malnutrition. In addition, Internews Europe (2014, p.7) reported that ‘nearly 300 million children in India, Kenya and Brazil (over half of the children population) are living in conditions where their basic rights are violated. Not surprisingly, in the face of this carnage - indeed, staggering statistics - the politics within the Security Council of the United Nations and cascades of often conflicting interests by international actors have delayed intervention in Syria, and other conflict theaters, further escalating the violence in those countries.

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