The lessons learnt over the decade as well as future plans of action are further discussed in the report.

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1 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Nigeria is a signatory to both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the OAU Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The inception of an elected democratic government in May 1999, after nearly one and half decades of continuous military rule, has placed the issue of human rights, especially the rights of children and women, at the forefront of national concern. The country was represented at the World Summit for Children by a very strong delegation led by the then vicepresident. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), upon return from the summit, pledged firm commitment to the goals of the summit and ensured the preparation of a National Programme of Action (NPA) as stipulated by paragraphs 33 and 34 of the World Declaration. The principal studies/surveys used to prepare the End-Decade Assessment were three major surveys in the 1990s - the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 1990, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 1995 and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) Each of these surveys collected data on a wide number of indicators from a nationally representative sample of households. Upon return from the WSC in 1990, the FGN established a National Child Welfare Committee in the then Ministry of Culture and Social Welfare in February 1991 to formulate a national framework for implementing the goals of the WSC. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified in This document has now been simplified and translated into the three major Nigerian languages. Issues concerning the CRC was also propagated through all relevant government agencies including ministries, schools as well as NGOs. Under the WSC goals, IMR and U5MR were expected to decline by one third between 1990 and Data from both the 1990 NDHS and the 1999 MICS showed that IMR rose from 91 per thousand in 1990 to 105 per thousand in Unlike IMR, U5MR recorded a modest decline between 1990 and The WSC set a goal of 100% immunization coverage for all vaccinepreventable diseases. Immunization coverage improved for DPT, poliomyelitis, measles and tuberculosis between the 1990 NDHS and the 1995 MICS after which there was a decline in the 1999 MICS. Since the WSC in 1990, a number of positive developments have taken place in the nation s health care system. The National Policy on health which has PHC as its cornerstone was launched in 1989, a year prior to the WSC. In the 1990s, Nigeria joined other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in adopting and implementing the Bamako Initiative. To improve the decline in immunization coverage, the National Program on Immunization (NPI) Agency was created. Nigeria has taken the lead in the sub-continent in mobilizing resources to ensure polio virus transmission is stopped by 2002 and the eradication of the virus is certified by President Obasanjo has succeeded Nelson Mandela as chairman of the Committee on a Polio Free Africa. In the 1990 s, HIV/AIDS emerged as a major threat to the health status, socio-economic conditions and security of the nation. Data from the sentinel site surveillance system showed that HIV sero-prevalence among antenatal care clients increased from 1.2% in 1991 to 5.4% in The campaign against AIDS is being led personally by the President and has been carried to the various arms of government and opinion leaders. Concerning water and basic sanitation, 54% of the population has access to safe drinking water. A new National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy was adopted early in 2000 by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Progress on nutrition was assessed from the indicators of under-five malnutrition, breast feeding, salt iodization, and vitamin A supplementation. While review of the trends over the 1990 s suggests that none of the end-decade goals of overcoming childhood malnutrition had been successfully met, some progress has been made. Some notable achievements by the government in tackling malnutrition include: a demonstrated commitment to poverty alleviation; the continued implementation of the BFHI and also launching of a National Breast Feeding Policy in Others are the inauguration of a National Committee on Food and Nutrition (NCFN) in 1993; the approval of a National Policy on Food and Nutrition in 1998 and the distribution of Vitamin A supplements nationwide. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) is a good indicator of the gender disparity and inequality in relation to access to health care. Data from the 1999 MICS indicated that MMR showed a marked improvement from 1000 per 100,000 in 1990 to 704 per 100,000 in 1999, reflecting a 30% reduction. The total fertility rate has declined slightly from 6.0 per woman in 1990 to 5.2 per woman in The proportion of women aged years attended at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel recorded a marked decline from 59% to 36% between 1990 and Since the WSC in

2 2 1990, government has shown a lot of commitment to improving the situation of women through allocation of more funds to women issues. The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development was established in 1995 with State Ministries for Women at state levels and Women Development Units at local government levels. More recently in July 2000, a National Policy on Women was adopted. Besides being a signatory to the CRC, Nigeria, quite recently, also endorsed at the Dakar World Education Forum (April 2000) a Declaration which, among other things, sets as one of its goals expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Since 1987, the country, has been paying considerable attention to early childhood education as a basis for the healthy growth and all-round development of every citizen. The strong official support which the Early Child Care and Development initiative has received in Nigeria has led to some significant changes. Work towards these achievements was enhanced by assistance from local NGOs, the private sector (grant from Bernard Van Leer Foundation -BVLF) and the international donor community (UNICEF, UNDP and UNESCO). With the relaunching of the Universal Basic Education programme in September 1999, the present civilian administration has signalled its intention to overcome the policy somersaults and a lack of political will which were the key factors that stalled the takeoff of the programme in 1992 as earlier planned. On another positive note, there has been much greater awareness all over the country of the value of non-formal education. To improve the rights and welfare of the children who may be especially disadvantaged a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ILO. The response to the increasing knowledge of external trafficking has been encouraging. A number of NGOs and religious bodies have started responding to the problem. For example, in Benin City, Edo State, a coalition has emerged between a religious NGO (Sisters of Mercy), the Association of Catholic Lawyers and the African Women Empowerment Group (AWEG) to find solutions to the problem. There are current initiatives to foster conflict resolution mechanisms in communities by NGOs such as: the African Refugee Foundation (ARF), Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), Space 2000, the USAID/Office of Transitional Initiatives and Academic Associates Peace Works. There are also initiatives by the Centre for African Peace Initiatives and the proposed ECOWAS Child Protection Unit to enhance the protection rights of children and women during communal conflicts. Among the WSC goals is the need for signatories to work for common measures for the protection of the environment. Although housing has continued to pose a problem to Nigerians (especially those in urban areas), a marked achievement was recorded for the period between 1990 and Solid waste management remained a problem in the 1990s. Open dumping or burning of solid waste with the attendant hazards was common. Another important source of pollution of the land and surface water has been the indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals. Also of concern is the issue of indiscriminate disposal of toxic industrial wastes from textile, pharmaceutical, petroleum, paint and leather industries. Pollution of the environment from oil spills in the Niger Delta areas has also created serious environmental problems in the area. A number of institutional arrangements have been put in place to address national environmental problems. A Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) was established in 1988 through decree 58, which was further amended in A National Environmental Policy formulated in 1989 has since been revised in A National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been established whose mandate covers such natural disasters as floods, fires and erosion. Past efforts of government to reduce the high level of poverty in the country have been through the activities of various ministries and agencies. Between 1990 and now, the following agencies of government were established to combat poverty: National Board of Community Banks (1991), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (1992), National Commission for Mass Literacy (1997) and Family Economic Advancement Program (1997). Other agencies established prior to 1990 but whose activities continued in the 1990 s included: Agriculture Development Projects, National Directorate of Employment, Population Activities Fund Agency and the People s Bank of Nigeria. Government has also recently established a Poverty Alleviation Program. The lessons learnt over the decade as well as future plans of action are further discussed in the report.

3 1 END- DECADE REVIEW (EDR) REPORT NATIONAL REPORT ON FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR CHILDREN NIGERIA Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development, Abuja, Nigeria December End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

4 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE List of Acronyms 3 A. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 4 B. PROCESS ESTABLISHED FOR THE END DECADE REVIEW (EDR) 5 C. ACTIONS TAKEN AT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS 6 D. SPECIFIC ACTION FOR CHILD SURVIVAL, PROTECTION AND DEVELOPMENT 7 a. Dissemination and promotion of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 7 b. Combating childhood diseases 8 c. Overcoming malnutrition 11 d. Enhancing the status of girls and women 12 e. Ensuring support for parents and other care-givers in nurturing and Caring for children 13 f. Ensuring priority for early childhood development 15 g. Ensuring special attention to children living under especially difficult circumstances 17 h. Ensuring special protection of children in armed conflict 18 i. Preventing the degradation of the environment 18 j. Addressing poverty and debt 19 E. LESSONS LEARNT 20 F. FUTURE ACTION 22 G. REFERENCES 23 2 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

5 ANC ANPPCAN ARF ARI AWEG BFHI BVLF CBO CLO CRIB CRC CSPD ECE ECOWAS EDR FGN GCC IMC IMR IPEC MICS MMR MOU NCFN NCRIC NCW NDHS NEMA NIGEP NGO NID NMS NPA NPC NPHCDA NPI OAU ORT PHC PONC U5MR UBE WSC LIST OF ACRONYMS Ante Natal Care African Network on the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect African Refugee Foundation Acute Respiratory Infections African Women Empowerment Group Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Bernard van Leer Foundation Community-based organization Civil Liberties Organization Child Rights Implementation Bureau Convention on the Rights of the Child Child Survival Protection and Development Early Childhood Education Economic Community of West African States End-Decade Review Federal Government of Nigeria Government Counterpart Contribution Inter-Ministerial Committee Infant Mortality Rate International Programme for Elimination of Child Labour Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Maternal Mortality Rate Memorandum of Understanding National Committee on Food and Nutrition National Child Rights Implementation Committee National Commission of Women Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey National Emergency Management Agency Nigerian Guinea worm Eradication Programme Non-governmental organization National Immunization Day National Micro-nutrient Survey National Plan of Action National Planning Commission National primary Health Care Development Agency National Programme of Immunization Organization of African Unity Oral Rehydration Therapy Primary Health Care Progress of the Nigerian Child Under-five Mortality Rate Universal Basic Education World Summit for Children 3 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

6 A. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND With a current estimated population of 124 million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the most populous black nation in the world. The population is distributed among more than 250 ethnic nationalities with diverse social and cultural characteristics. Nigeria operates a federal system of government consisting of a federal administration at the capital while the rest of the country is divided into 36 states and 774 local government areas. The mono-cultural nature of the economy, which is dependent primarily on crude oil exports, has rendered it highly vulnerable to price fluctuations in the global oil market. The decline in international oil prices, which commenced in the early 1980 s, continued to prevail in the 1990 s. The consequent reduction in foreign exchange earnings and the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) coupled with the heavy debt burden (when 40% of the nation s resources had to be diverted to the payment of debts) obviously impacted on social sector spending during the 1990 s. This in turn affected the progress that could have been made in the areas of health, nutrition, environment, education, child protection and gender equity. Nigeria is a signatory to both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the OAU Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The inception of an elected democratic government in May 1999, after nearly one and half decades of continuous military rule, has placed the issue of human rights, especially the rights of children and women, at the forefront of national concern. This end-decade review of the progress made towards achieving the goals set at the World Summit for Children (WSC) in 1990 is therefore being undertaken at an important time in the history of the country. It is intended that the findings will be useful in setting a new agenda for the welfare of children and women in the twenty-first century. The country was represented at the World Summit for Children by a very strong delegation led by the then vice-president. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), upon return from the summit, pledged firm commitment to the goals of the summit and ensured the preparation of a National Programme of Action (NPA) as stipulated by paragraphs 33 and 34 of the World Declaration. The NPA was prepared in parallel with FGN s National Perspective Plan. It therefore represented Nigeria s Social Sector Agenda for action for its children. In that respect, it constituted the benchmark against which the political commitments and promises made to its children could be assessed as the nation approached the year The process of preparing the NPA, which was launched in October 1992, involved comprehensive consultations among ministries at the various tiers of government, international agencies, the academic community, the private sector and NGOs. The summit goals were discussed at several national meetings attended by Directors of Planning, Research and Statistics from the Federal and State Governments. The NPA was finally prepared by a Multi-sectoral Task Force comprising the Federal Ministries of Health and Human Services, Education and Youth Development, Information and Culture, the National Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education and the Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure. The Task Force was coordinated by the National Planning Commission (NPC), whose mandate then included monitoring and evaluation of the 1990 goals. Towards this objective, a National Child Rights Implementation Committee (NCRIC) was inaugurated by the FGN in The committee, in addition to other responsibilities, was charged with the continuous review of the state of implementation of the Rights of the Child in Nigeria and submitting periodic reports on the state of implementation to the Federal Government, the OAU and the United Nations. Membership of the committee was drawn from a cross-section of government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia and individual child care experts, with UNICEF acting as facilitator while other UN agencies and the World Bank were observers. 4 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

7 Article 44 of the CRC enjoins state parties to submit to the Committee on the Rights of the Child country periodic reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized in the Convention and in progress made on the enjoyment of those rights. The reports were to be submitted within two years of ratification of the Convention by the state party concerned, and thereafter every five years. Towards a successful review of the implementation/achievements of the WSC goals at mid decade, a workshop tagged Monitoring the Mid-Decade Goals was organized by the NPC with the support of UNICEF in The workshop aimed at enabling the preparation of the progress report indicating the annual achievements the nation had made toward attaining the Mid- Decade and Decade Goals. The workshop identified major constraints against the successful accomplishment of these goals and formulated strategies to overcome such constraints. Despite this concerted effort towards a successful Mid-Decade review, the NCRIC was unable to carry out a middecade review of the WSC goals. However, the NCRIC submitted the initial report under article 44 on the implementation of the provisions of the CRC in 1995 and defended it in The first progress report is due for submission in 2000, and at present, is in its last stages of preparation. The main issues highlighted in the first report included: The disadvantaged position of the girl child The establishment of a Family Support Program. Establishment of a mechanism for effective sensitization of the public on the rights of the child. Constraints to child rights implementation, which were grouped under socio-cultural and traditional practices as well as economic and political factors. Following the Nigerian submission, the Committee on the Rights of the Child issued the following important observations: Commendation of the establishment of both the National Human Rights Commission and the National Child Rights Implementation Committee. The persistence of certain harmful traditional practices and customs that have had a negative bearing on the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed under the Convention. Considerable effort was still required toward ensuring that all adults and children are aware of the rights of the child as contained in the Convention. The apparent absence of pro-active measures to combat discrimination against disabled children, children belonging to ethnic minorities and children born out of wedlock. The problems of violence against children and the physical abuse of children in the family, in schools, in the community and in society. The non-recognition of social support to families especially female headed single parent households. Indeed, the humiliating experience of female single parent head of households often compelled such women to falsify their marital status in order to have access to basic services. Current legislation with regard to the administration of juvenile justice and institutionalization of children does not appear to conform to the principle and provisions of the Convention. The low age of criminal responsibility for children in Nigeria, put at seven years, was of serious concern to the committee, especially as children even under the age of seven years can be brought before the courts. These concluding observations are highlighted here in order to provide the context for reviewing progress made by Nigeria at the end of the decade. B. PROCESS ESTABLISHED FOR THE END-DECADE REVIEW (EDR) The process for the EDR effectively commenced with a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Nigeria s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in March The coordinating ministry for the EDR was identified as the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development. An Inter-ministerial Committee (IMC) was identified to coordinate the EDR as a steering committee. The 5 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

8 next major step was the participation of a Nigerian delegation at the first substantive session of the UN General Assembly Follow-up to the WSC at the UN Headquarters in New York between 30 th May and 2 nd June, A sub-committee of the IMC with members drawn from sectoral ministries was subsequently convened to coordinate the preparation of the EDR. The IMC sub-committee met on August 15, 2000 essentially to acquaint participants with the scope, steps, guidelines and structure of the EDR report as well as the expected roles of government and UNICEF in the EDR process and report preparation. A major outcome of the meeting was the development of a work-plan for the EDR. Between October 2 nd and 7 th 2000, Nigeria participated in an update meeting of progress towards the EDR report at Dakar, Senegal. Consultants were subsequently identified to synthesize input from sectoral ministries/agencies to produce the initial draft EDR report. The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development also commissioned two groups of experts to collect data on implementation of the CRC at sub-national level in the six geopolitical zones of the country and on AIDS orphans. The results of both studies were fed into the EDR report. A national EDR stakeholders meeting - the National Summit for Children (NSC) - took place between November 14 16, 2000 where valuable contributions were made to the report at sub-national levels by policy makers, implementers, civil society organizations and NGOs/CBOs. A major feature of this Summit was the active participation of the children themselves and their frank articulation of their views concerning child rights issues. Further contributions were also made by the sub-committee on EDR and UNICEF before a final report was produced in December, The principal studies/surveys used to inform the End-Decade Assessment were three major surveys in the 1990s - the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 1990, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 1995 and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) Each of these surveys collected data on a wide number of indicators from a nationally representative sample of households. A fourth survey, the Nigerian Demographic and the Health Survey (NDHS 1999) was just being published at the time of preparation of this report. These were supplemented with data from other sources, including specialised surveys such as the HIV/AIDS Sentinel Site Seroprevalence Survey, and active routine surveillance reports, for example, of cases of guinea-worm. C. ACTIONS TAKEN AT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS (i) As a demonstration of its commitment to the implementation of the CRC, Nigeria took the necessary steps to fulfill the requirements of paragraphs 34 and 35 of the World Summit Plan of Action by preparing a National Plan of Action (NPA) which detailed activities to be implemented toward the attainment of the set goals. The NPA also acted as a catalyst for the preparation of Plans of Action by the lower tiers of government at state and local government levels. (ii) The support of the mass media was won towards supporting the provisions of the CRC. Following the statement of commitment signed in 1992, various media messages on the provisions of the Convention are being regularly featured on radio and television, and in magazines and newspapers. (iii) The country has endeavored to establish mechanisms for the regular collection, analysis and publication of data required to monitor relevant social indicators relating to the well-being of children and which record the progress being made towards the goals set forth in the NPA. To date, four major surveys have been conducted in the 1990 s. These were the NDHS 1990, NDHS 1999, MICS 1995 and MICS Each of these surveys was a household survey of a nationally representative sample and has provided valuable input into the EDR report. Work is in progress on the harmonization of these various sources of data. (iv) The country has re-examined its current status of emergency preparedness. Agencies like the National Refugee Commission (NRC), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the new Ministry for Co-operation and Integration in Africa alongside several UN agencies and NGOs are taking up the challenges posed by emergencies. The UN agencies have responded in two dimensions: 6 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

9 (1) a UN working group on emergency preparedness and response has been established, and, (2) the UN agencies responded practically during the Kaduna communal crisis and the fire disasters in the Niger delta. (v) The country has continued to support major initiatives in health and nutrition, including the Roll-Back Malaria Initiative, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), the Eradication of Guinea-Worm, the Elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders and of Vitamin A deficiency, and the National Programme of Immunization (NPI), the latter with a special emphasis on the eradication of poliomyelitis. The country is also planning an HIV/AIDS Summit. (vi) The FGN has continued to enjoy the cooperation and collaboration of all relevant UN agencies and organs as well as other international institutions in ensuring the achievement of the goals and objectives of the NPA. Such support has proved invaluable in various areas, including the preparation of the NPA in 1992, the consolidated analysis of the plans and actions and their regular monitoring and evaluation, the organization of review meetings towards achievement of set goals, the provision of expert advice, the conduct of national surveys and the preparation of the EDR report. D. SPECIFIC ACTIONS FOR CHILD SURVIVAL, PROTECTION AND DEVELOPMENT (a) Dissemination and Promotion of the earliest possible ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and thereafter, promote its implementation and monitoring. Upon return from the WSC in 1990, the FGN established a National Child Welfare Committee in the then Ministry of Culture and Social Welfare in February 1991 to formulate a national framework for implementing the goals of the WSC. A Trust Fund for the Nigerian child was also established in March 1991 to enhance the talents of children through arts and cultural activities. It also raised funds for the execution of programs and projects designed for child welfare services especially for disabled children. The FGN ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in This document has now been simplified and translated into the three major Nigerian languages. The instrument for the ratification of the OAU Charter on the Rights of the Child is now in the Presidency to be presented to the National Assembly for ratification. In October 1994, the FGN inaugurated the National Child Rights Implementation Committee (NCRIC) with a charge to popularize the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the OAU Charter on Child Rights and Welfare. The NCRIC was subsequently decentralized to state and local government levels. In September 2000, Nigeria became one of the first African countries to sign the Optional Protocol to CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and also the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflicts. The National Commission for Women (NCW), which was established in 1989 and replicated at the state and LGA levels, inaugurated a National Working Committee on Child Welfare in March In recognition of the increased pressure for the implementation of various ECOSOC Resolutions and UN conventions, the NCW was upgraded into a Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in The Department of Child Development is now located within the ministry and is largely responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the provisions of the CRC. Other avenues to propagate issues concerning the CRC by the government agencies include the following: 7 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

10 The establishment of the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) in the Ministry of Information. The CRIB works in cooperation with the NCRIC and publishes the Progress of the Nigerian Child (PONC) with data from the Federal Office of Statistics. The PONC is a Nigerian version of the UNICEF s global State of the World s Children. The formation of Child Rights Clubs in schools The establishment of regional monitoring centres for child rights violation by African Network on the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect in Nigeria (ANPPCAN). The celebration of annual events such as: Children s Day (May 27), National Youth Day (August 12), the Day of the African Child (June 16), International Women s Day and the Day of the Family. These usually provide the opportunity for advocacy and enlightenment campaigns. These events also provide the opportunity for media dialogue between media houses/practitioners and relevant government ministries/agencies in order to raise awareness of the provisions of the CRC. Regular workshops organized by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development for policy makers on the provisions of the CRC and its implementation. In October 2000, the Senate held a public hearing on the state of promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria, including child rights and rights of women. The National Human Rights Commission recently held a seminar on Appraisal of International Human Rights Instruments in November Major constraints encountered include: Lack of appreciation of the rights of children by the civil populace, a problem that is largely attributable to the country s customary traditions and religious values. Delay in passing into law the draft Children s Bill, on which work began in This means that Nigeria still has no comprehensive legal framework that is consistent with the country s obligation under the CRC. The available data for key indicators concerning the survival, development and protection of children show that large numbers of Nigerian children are far from enjoying the rights enshrined in the CRC, as this is yet to be domesticated into Nigerian law. (b) Combating Childhood Diseases through low-cost remedies and strengthening Primary Health Care and Basic Health Services; prioritizing the prevention and treatment of AIDS; providing universal access to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitary Excreta Disposal; and control of Water-borne Diseases. The CRC can broadly be classified under survival rights, development rights, protection and participation rights. Although the various groups of rights complement each other, the ultimate objective is the survival of the child. This is enshrined in article 6 of the CRC which deals with the right to life. This will include measures put in place by the State not just to ensure that the life of the child is not taken away but also that actions are taken to reduce morbidity and mortality especially in infants and the under-fives. This is further buttressed by article 24 of the CRC which requires signatories to the convention to guarantee the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. Infant mortality rate (IMR) and under-five mortality rate (U5MR) measure the probability of death occurring in these age groups out of every 1000 live births. Under the WSC goals, IMR and U5MR were expected to decline by one third between 1990 and Data from both the 1990 NDHS and the 1999 MICS showed that IMR rose from 91 per thousand in 1990 to 105 per thousand in There were no gender differences in the IMR but the rates for the urban areas were considerably lower than the rates for rural areas (83 per thousand and 113 per thousand respectively). Unlike IMR, U5MR recorded a modest decline between 1990 and The rate decreased from 191 per thousand live births in 1990 to 178 per thousand in In spite of the decline in U5MR, the 1999 figures are still much higher than the one-third reduction set by the WSC goals. The 1999 MICS also showed a remarkable level of within-country disparities in the U5MR. Female U5MR were higher than male rates and rural rates were higher than urban rates. 8 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

11 Vaccine-preventable diseases have been implicated in the deaths of up to 20% of under-five children. The WSC set a goal of 100% immunization coverage for all vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization coverage improved for DPT, poliomyelitis, measles and tuberculosis between the 1990 NDHS and the 1995 MICS after which there was a decline in the 1999 MICS. The latest (MICS 1999) coverage figures for the various vaccines in 1999 were as follows: DPT 23%, poliomyelitis 19%, measles 35% and tuberculosis 43%. The coverage for poliomyelitis would have received a significant boost from the National Immunization Days (NID). Deaths due to diarrhea in under-five children were expected to be reduced by 50% and diarrhea incidence reduced by 25% at the end of the WSC decade. Baseline data from the NDHS 1990 show that the two-week period prevalence of diarrhea was 18% but this showed a modest reduction to 15% in The percentage of children treated with oral dehydration therapy (ORT + a recommended home fluid) increased remarkably from 27% in 1990 to 47% in Since the WSC in 1990, a number of positive developments have taken place in the nation s health care system. The National Policy on health which has PHC as its cornerstone was launched in 1989, a year prior to the WSC. The guiding philosophy of that Policy was based on social justice and equity. By 1990, it was estimated that only 17% of Nigerians had access to modern health facilities (1992 NPA). A revitalized PHC system under the National Health policy was therefore expected to correct the unsatisfactory level of coverage through expansion and greater decentralization. One of the measures that was therefore taken to ensure the strengthening and sustainability of PHC was the creation of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in The NPHCDA was expected to strengthen PHC implementation through supervision and technical assistance to the LGAs. In the 1990s, Nigeria joined other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in adopting and implementing the Bamako Initiative, which seeks to revitalize PHC through adequate supply of basic drugs, community involvement in the management of their health care as well as improved financing. With the support of the now-defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), all the 774 LGAs have been covered by the programme. Other measures adopted by the Ministry of Health to reduce childhood mortality included the establishment of disease control programmes for HIV/AIDS, acute respiratory infections (ARI), guinea worm and onchocerciasis. Other programmes for tuberculosis and malaria were also strengthened. The National Health Management Information System was also established to correct the grossly inadequate data sources for planning and evaluation of health programmes. Because of the great burden of malaria in Nigeria, the National Malaria Control Programme has been reviewed to include the Roll Back Malaria Initiative. In April 2000, Nigeria hosted a successful summit of African Heads of State on Roll Back Malaria. To improve the decline in immunization coverage, the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) Agency was created. This has conducted National Immunization Days (NIDs) towards the global eradication of poliomyelitis. Nigeria has taken the lead in the sub-continent in mobilizing resources to ensure polio virus transmission is stopped by 2002 and the eradication of the virus is certified by President Obasanjo has succeeded Nelson Mandela as chairman of the Committee on a Polio Free Africa. Synchronized NIDs are also being conducted with other countries. While the effects of these measures were not seen in immunization coverage for 1999 [house-to-house NIDs only started after the last survey], future surveys should provide an indication of their impact. In addition, efforts are being intensified to eradicate the other five childhood killer diseases namely measles, tuberculosis, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. In the 1990 s, HIV/AIDS emerged as a major threat to the health status, socio-economic conditions and security of the nation. Data from the sentinel site surveillance system showed that HIV seroprevalence among antenatal care clients increased from 1.2% in 1991 to 5.4% in The 1999 sentinel site figures showed that the epidemic had reached every part of the country with varying 9 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

12 degrees of severity. Using the projected population for Nigeria of 118 million in 1999 and the HIV sero-prevalence estimate of 5.4% from the 1999 sentinel survey, it was estimated that the number of adults (15-49 years old) living with HIV/AIDS was 2.6 million. Beyond the 5% prevalence level, the HIV epidemic enters an explosive phase due to the much greater chance of infected individuals transmitting the disease through sexual contact. As a result of her large population, it is estimated that by the end of 1999, Nigeria contributed over 10% of the African HIV/AIDS burden with over 500,000 new infections per year and one new infection per minute. Equally worrisome is the potential for an explosion in the number of children infected with HIV through mother-to-child transmission. Another problem created by the HIV/AIDS epidemic is the number of orphans resulting from death of the parents from AIDS. By the end of October 2000, through a national rapid assessment survey, it was estimated that Nigeria has 1.2 million AIDS orphans who are being cared for mainly through the extended family system. (Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development). Combating the threat posed by HIV/AIDS is receiving the highest level of priority by the present administration. The campaign against AIDS is being led personally by the President and has been carried to the various arms of government and opinion leaders. Between 1990 and 1999, HIV/AIDS control was integrated into PHC with decentralization to the LGA s. In 2000, a Presidential Committee on AIDS chaired by the President and a National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA) were established to ensure multi-sector and multi-level participation of relevant stakeholders. A twoyear interim action plan was developed by NACA and more resources allocated for HIV/AIDS control. NACA is also working on a longer term national strategy plan. The Federal Ministry of Health has stepped up its awareness and enlightenment campaign and programme of action particularly through integration into Primary Health Care. A multi-sectoral Media Health Committee was also inaugurated in September 1999 to harmonize all media-related AIDS control activities in the country. Instructional materials have been developed preparatory to the integration of HIV/AIDS education into the curriculum of primary and secondary schools throughout the country. HIV testing kits worth one hundred million Naira were procured and distributed to screening centres nationwide. Concerning water and basic sanitation, 54% of the population has access to safe drinking water (71% in urban areas and 48% in rural areas) (MICS 99). The situation in the South East is considerably worse than in other regions; only 39% of the population in this region gets its drinking water from a safe source. Fifty three percent of the population of Nigeria lives in households with sanitary means of excreta disposal (MICS 99). The situation varies from 40% in the North East to 58% in the South West. The 1999 data show persisting urban-rural differences in both access to safe water and access to sanitary means of excreta disposal. Access to safe water in urban areas is 71% compared to 48% in rural areas while access to sanitary means of excreta disposal is 75% in urban areas compared to 44% in rural areas. Guinea worm control efforts in Nigeria received priority in the 1990 s, with a leading role played by the Nigeria Guinea-Worm Eradication Programme (NIGEP). Data on the number of guinea-worm cases in Nigeria showed a marked reduction from 394,082 in 1990 to 13,237 in 1999 representing a 97% reduction (Guinea-worm Watch 1991, 2000). In 1999, about eight states of the federation were still reporting significant numbers of cases of the disease. A new National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy was adopted early in 2000 by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The centrepiece of the policy is the provision of sufficient potable water and adequate sanitation to all Nigerians in an affordable and sustainable way through participatory investment by the three tiers of government, the private sector and the beneficiary. The initial target of the policy is to improve service coverage from 40% to 60% by 2003, and to reach 100% by The policy document identifies the strategies, the policy instruments, the legislative provisions and the institutional and funding arrangements to be put in place to achieve the targets set. The relatively poor progress recorded in infant and under-five mortality, when compared to the WSC goals, could be attributed to a number of constraints, principally the weak capacity of the health care 10 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

13 system to meet the basic needs of children and women. This has been mainly as a result of poor funding, lack of community involvement in programs and inadequate human capacity development. Other major constraints have been poor inter-sectoral collaboration, duplication of efforts and lack of integration of vertical programs which have further weakened the capacity of the PHC system. Efforts at reducing the rapid rate of increase in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria have been constrained by a low level of education among the populace, poor access to health services, poverty, culture and gender bias. The situation is worse for women owing to discriminatory traditional practices and beliefs which have placed them at the mercy of men with regard to decision-making, especially as it affects reproductive rights. Poor coverage for water supply and sanitation is linked with the following: Insufficient funding of operations and maintenance. Lack of capital to complete water projects and initiate new ones Inadequacy of skilled labor and management capacity Inefficient billing and collection of water revenue needed for operation and maintenance Inadequate monitoring and evaluation of performance. Most data used in planning are estimated, resulting in poor targeting of resources. (c) Overcoming Malnutrition, including ensuring household food security and developing strategies that include employment and income generating opportunities; dissemination of knowledge; and support to increased food production and distribution. Progress in nutrition will be assessed from the indicators of under-five malnutrition, breast feeding, salt iodization, and vitamin A supplementation. While review of the trends over the 1990 s suggests that none of the end-decade goals of overcoming childhood malnutrition had been successfully met, some progress has been made as reported below. The prevalence of stunting among under-five children has dropped from 43% to 34% between 1990 and 2000 (NDHS 90, MICS 99). Corresponding figures for under- nutrition (under-weight) were 36% in 1990 and 31% in However, the prevalence of wasting (acute malnutrition) has increased from 10% in 1990 to 16% in 2000 with national disparities. Also, rural children were worse off than their urban counterparts. Children whose mothers have secondary or higher education are least likely to be under-weight, stunted or wasted compared to children of mothers with less education. Approximately 22% of children aged under four months are exclusively breastfed (MICS 99), a level considerably lower than recommended (100%). At age 6-9 months, 44% of children are receiving breast milk and solid or semi-solid foods. By age months, 36% of children are continuing to breastfeed. Ninety-eight percent of households in Nigeria consume adequately iodized salt (MICS 99). The percentage of households with adequately iodized salt ranges from 96% in the North East to 99% in the South-West. The proportion of children aged 6-59months who have received a high dose Vitamin A supplement in the last 24 months (not six months) was 23% (MICS 99). The proportion of children in this age group reported with low serum retinol (< 20 micrograms/100ml) was 34.3% (NMS 93). Achievements include: The present democratic government s demonstrated commitment to poverty alleviation. The continued implementation of the BFHI has raised awareness of the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding and exclusive breast-feeding rates. The country also launched a National Breast Feeding Policy in End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

14 The inauguration of a National Committee on Food and Nutrition (NCFN) in The approval of a National Policy on Food and Nutrition in 1998, which has now been referred to the Committee on Food Security to be harmonized with the Household Food Security Document. The development of an Institutional Framework for implementing the Plan of Action on Food and Nutrition in The distribution of Vitamin A supplements nationwide during the October 2000 NIDs when 30 million Nigerian children aged 6-59 months received the vitamin A supplements (NPI Agency Report). The adoption by government of a policy on fortification of food with vitamin A. The provision in the Nigerian Economic Policy of targets to reduce child malnutrition by 25% and raise overall nutritional level (Daily calories) from 2120 to 2500 by the year Constraints faced in this area include: The National Agricultural policy, which outlines strategies for ensuring food security at the National level by increasing food production and development of strategic food reserves, has little impact on the levels of malnutrition. Often, projected agricultural outputs have not been met and when met, have had little impact on availability of food at household level. Inadequate storage facilities, difficulties in the distribution network and lack of adequate food processing and preservation facilities are also major constraints. At the household level, inadequate food storage and preservation facilities militate against food security. Poverty remains a widespread problem in Nigeria. The high prices of many basic food items make food a major part of the household budget for a large number of Nigerian families. In the prevailing cultural context, children often get the least to eat. (d) Enhancing the status of girls and women and ensure their full access to health, nutrition, education, training, credit, extension, family planning, pre-natal, delivery, referral and other basic services. Unequal gender relations in social, economic and political spheres are widely recognized as central to the poor access of girls and women to adequate health care, nutrition, education, training, credit, family planning, anti-natal care, delivery and referral services. They ultimately affect the rights of children since women also ensure that their children receive adequate care at home as well as health care and education. Nigeria has shown political commitment to the goals of enhancing the status of women, reducing gender inequality and protecting the rights of the Nigerian woman by adopting a National Policy on Women, ratifying a number of international conventions, including the CRC, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and signing the Optional Protocol to CEDAW. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) is a good indicator of the gender disparity and inequality in relation to access to health care. Data from the 1999 MICS indicated that MMR showed a marked improvement from 1000 per 100,000 in 1990 to 704 per 100,000 in 1999, reflecting a 30% reduction. Although this is still high when compared with rates from developed countries, it has met the goal of 900/100,000 live births which was set by the 1992 NPA. The data from the 1999 MICS also showed very wide regional disparities in maternal mortality. The northern zones had higher MMR than the southern zones. Also, there was also a marked difference between urban and rural areas, with the rate for the rural areas (825/100,000) being more than twice that for the urban areas (351/100,000). The total fertility rate has declined slightly from 6.0 per woman in 1990 to 5.2 per woman in Fertility remained higher in the rural areas compared to the urban areas. There was only a marginal increase in contraceptive prevalence from 6.0% in 1990 to 7.4% in The 1999 MICS showed a higher contraceptive prevalence in the southern parts of the country compared to the north. Contraceptive prevalence in urban areas was more than twice that in the rural areas. 12 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

15 The proportion of women aged years attended at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel recorded a marked decline from 59% to 36% between 1990 and Data from 1999 MICS also showed that in the urban areas, 55% of the women were attended during antenatal care by skilled personnel compared to 30% for rural areas. The findings in relation to access to skilled attendant during childbirth were similar to those for ANC. The proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel decreased from 37% in 1990 to 33% in The only national data on anaemia in women came from the National Micronutrient Survey (NMS) of 1993 and it showed a prevalence of 63% among women aged years by WHO criteria. This is an indicator of the high level of malnutrition and limited access to reproductive health care among this sub-group of the population. The existence of deep-seated traditional beliefs and practices imposed on women by culture, customary laws and religious norms have impeded rapid progress towards enhancing the status of women. The high level of illiteracy and poverty, particularly among women, has further aggravated the situation. Another constraint has been the persistence of harmful traditional practices. Since the WSC in 1990, government has shown a lot of commitment to improving the situation of women through allocation of more funds to women issues. This has been carried out through the establishment of the necessary institutional framework to channel more funds to issues concerning women and children. The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development was established in 1995 with State Ministries for Women at state levels and Women Development Units at local government levels. More recently in July 2000, a National Policy on Women was adopted. Other policies aimed at improving the health status of women are the National Population Policy and the Population Activities and Community Development Programme. In addition, the Maternal and Child Health component of the National Primary Health Care Development Programme is also expected to improve the health status of women and children. The 1990 s have witnessed a slight improvement in school enrolment for girls and subsequently, female literacy rate and the number of women in the professions such as law and medicine. Those in decision making, managerial and political positions have also increased. So has women s access to rationalised micro credit schemes and loans. (e) Ensuring support for parents and other care-givers in nurturing and caring for children; preventing separation of children from their families and, where such separation takes place, ensuring appropriate alternative family care or institutional placement. Besides being a signatory to the CRC, Nigeria, quite recently, also endorsed at the Dakar World Education Forum (April 2000) a Declaration which, among other things, sets as one of its goals expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Since 1987, the country, has been paying considerable attention to early childhood education as a basis for the healthy growth and all-round development of every citizen. The Federal Government s Blueprint on Basic Education (1999) emphasises the importance of early child care as a pre-requisite for a child s physical, cognitive and psycho-social development. The strong official support which the Early Child Care and Development initiative has received in Nigeria has led to some significant changes. By 1996, the Federal Government, had established 2,045 Early Child Care facilities, which are low cost, community-based and participatory, in rural as well as poor urban areas. The initial targets were 75,000 children in ten selected states. To date, over 400,000 children have benefited from 7,379 Early Child Care facilities set up in twelve states of the Federation. Besides, over 15,000 parents and caregivers have been trained in Early Child Care concepts. The training has been reinforced through several mobilisation visits, awareness campaigns and workshops. Work towards these achievements was enhanced by assistance from local NGOs, the private sector (grant from Bernard Van Leer Foundation -BVLF) and the international donor community (UNICEF, UNDP and UNESCO). 13 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

16 The tenets of the Convention on the Rights of The Child have been infused into the curricula of Early Child Care and women s centres as well as into those of the primary school. Similarly, culturallyrelevant readers, training manuals and guides have been developed for use at child care centres throughout the country. Also available is a reference text on Child Development and Nutrition in Nigeria, copies of which have been distributed to the tertiary institutions which offer courses in preprimary education. However, women in Nigeria are still adversely affected by a comparatively low level of literacy. Latest statistics put the current adult literacy rate at 49% (MICS 99), but while the male literacy rate stands at 58%, that of women is only 41%. Although this margin is smaller than the 62% male literacy rate and 39% for women contained in the NPC survey of 1998, it still gives cause for concern. Reducing the female illiteracy rate to 30.5% from an estimated 61% still remains a challenge. Data from MICS 99 indicate that maternal education is a correlate of a wide variety of outcomes including immunization rates, early childhood education, child malnutrition and child mortality. Increasing economic pressures are also taking their toll on women and forcing many of them out to take up paid employment or engage in some income-generating activities. As a result, they are having to make ad hoc arrangements for child care while they are out. According to the Early Child Care Survey conducted in 1995, 20% of such children were looked after by grandparents, 17% by older siblings, and 24% in day care facilities. Day care facilities fall into two categories. These are the crèches/day care centres for children aged 0-3 and the day nurseries for those aged 3 1 / 2 to 5. In the first type of facilities, where child stimulation should be the focus, experience shows that the child minders in those of them run by private proprietors are not always knowledgeable enough about what they should be doing. Sometimes toys are in short supply. A recognition of these deficiencies led to the setting up by each State Government of a model play group/day nursery at the State capitals. Some NGOs and religious groups have also established similar facilities equipped with sufficient play objects and staffed with competent teachers. Nigeria/UNICEF programme of co-operation has consistently targeted this area of development. With regard to pre-school educational facilities, government is already taking measures to ensure that nursery schools are run within laid-down guidelines and that fees charged by the proprietors are reasonable. To this end, monitoring and supervision are being intensified. Children s involvement and participation in the implementation of programmes that concern them are also a major focus. Through advocacy and mobilisation, negative cultural ideas about children are being eroded. Theatre groups, the mass media and other third channel avenues are being employed. Children and the youths themselves are fully involved in the re-orientation process. Debates, symposia, essay competitions on topics relevant to their concepts of their place in the polity are among the approaches adopted. The gains that have been recorded in Nigeria over the past decade in the efforts to ensure the survival, protection and development of the child have been considerable, but some challenges still remain to be met. Despite poverty-alleviation measures taken in the recent past such as liberalising women s access to loans and micro-credits through such institutions as the People s Bank and Community Banks, the economic empowerment of women still remains a pressing concern. With the loosening of extended family ties with the attendant adverse effects on children - governments, NGOs, religious and community-based organisations must intensify efforts aimed at offering a safety net to the hapless victims. In particular, children forced on to the street by family break-ups, deformed and disabled children (of whom other family members tend to feel shame) need to be given a sense of worth. This is already being done through such private initiatives as the First Lady s Child Care Trust and the street-children rehabilitation efforts of some NGOs, but more still remains to be done. For instance, reliable data on such children are still not available. However, encouraging women to acquire education in the broadest sense - appears to be the most effective approach to tackling the lingering 14 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

17 problems of poor environmental sanitation, inadequate child nutrition and ignorance of child care methods or of the effects of such devastating diseases as HIV/AIDS. Besides, the rehabilitation needs of children who get involved in petty crimes, of disabled and street children still need to be accorded greater attention within existing policies and laws. One way of doing this is for government to build the capacity of NGOs involved in rehabilitation programmes. (f) Ensuring priority for early childhood development; universal access to basic education; reduction of adult illiteracy; vocational training and preparation for work; and increased acquisition of knowledge, skills and values through all available channels. Basic education in Nigeria is made up formal and non-formal education. The formal aspect comprises 6 years of primary schooling and 3 years of schooling at the junior secondary level. Non-formal education comprises functional literacy classes for adults and adolescents who have dropped out of school or those who have never enrolled, with emphasis on girls. The curriculum is flexible and also covers numeracy and life skills. Early Childhood Education (ECE) has since 1987 been a major focus even though the operation of this component is still largely in private hands. The National Programme of Action on the World Summit for Children envisaged that 25% of the estimated 21.4 million of pre-school aged children (0-5 years) would be reached by the end of the decade through the establishment of 17,200 day care centres, crèches and nursery schools. Current statistics show that the percentages of boys and girls aged 36 to 59 months who are attending some form of organized Early Childhood Education centres are similar, 18 and 19 respectively. However, there are significant regional and urban-rural variations. For instance, whereas 39% of girls are in attendance at such centres in the South East, the North East records 3% according to the 1999 data. Similarly 37% of children attend organized playgroups in the urban areas but only 12% do so in rural areas. There is a correlation between a mother s level of education and the attendance of children at organized day care centres. Of mothers who have themselves received no education, only 5% sent their children to nurseries in contrast to 28% among mothers with primary education and 56% among mothers with secondary or higher education. What this obviously points to is that the level of a mother s awareness of the value of education is a determinant of her resolve to give her child a head start through enrolling her in a nursery school or a play group. Universal Basic Education: A Fresh Start With the re-launching of the Universal Basic Education programme in September 1999, the present civilian administration has signalled its intention to overcome the policy somersaults and a lack of political will which were the key factors that stalled the takeoff of the programme in 1992 as earlier planned. The programme seeks to address the issues of access, retention, quality of service delivery and infrastructure. It also takes into account the educational needs of under-served groups. The programme also has as a key goal arousing the consciousness of the citizens towards the value of education. These objectives are in consonance with the goals set out in the National Programme of Action on the World Summit for Children which include universal access to basic education and achievement for at least 80% primary school-age and removal of all barriers to the active participation of women and girls in education. In Nigeria, gender disparities are evident in the key areas of school enrolment, retention and completion. According to CSPD in Nigeria: Key Social Statistics (NPC/UNICEF 1998), the average primary school enrolment for the 1995/96 school year for girls was 75% as against 86% for boys. However, when the average completion rate is considered, the picture for the same year was: girls 71%, boys 68%. It is noteworthy that the completion rate for boys fell below the national completion average for that year which was 69%. The phenomenon of boys in the five eastern states dropping out so as to become apprentice traders must have contributed to the imbalance. This 15 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

18 disparity has persisted as evidenced by a recent survey which showed that of children aged 10 to 15 years who entered the first grade of primary school and eventually reached primary 5, boys formed 67% and girls 68%. It is when quality is considered that the Nigerian school - especially the primary school presents a disturbing picture. In a 1997 study ( Monitoring of Learning Achievement ) of Primary Four pupils, the national mean average in each of three key Achievement Tests was as follows: Numeracy - 32%, Literacy 25%, Life Skills 37%. In each of the Test Areas, private school pupils outperformed their counterparts in public schools while urban schools did better that those in rural areas. Obviously the low pupil achievement levels cannot be divorced from such factors as infrastructural facilities, teacher morale and frequency of supervision. Curriculum content and teacher competence are also relevant issues which have since engaged the attention of government. The measures taken to improve the quality of educational delivery include: increased funding, especially through the Petroleum Trust Fund, Education Tax, raising the salaries of teachers (along with those of public service workers) and establishment in some states of special science secondary schools. A notable example is that of a state in the North that has set up such a school specially for girls. In partnership with UNICEF and six other donor agencies, the Federal Government of Nigeria has embarked on a Child-Friendly, Rights-Based School Initiative. A Child-Friendly School is a place where the learning environment is conducive, the staff are friendly to the children, and the health and safety needs of the children are adequately met. The school is expected to be community-based and to take cognisance of all the rights of all children. This innovation, which will initially target eight northern states considered to be educationally-disadvantaged, promises to mobilise local community resources towards solving all the problems that have plagued schools in the area. These are: low access and retention, poor school environment, low pupil achievement and demoralised staff. A former Head of State has agreed to serve as the National Patron. The literacy situation in Nigeria has improved for it has risen significantly from the 1985 levels of 30% for women and 53% for men to 58% for men and 41% for women in The national average now stands at 49%. The National Plan of Action sets the specific target of a reduction in illiteracy to at least half of its 1990 level i.e. from 61% to 31%. The challenges that the literacy programme then faces are: raising the national literacy rate and reducing the disparity between female and male literacy rates. The non-formal education initiatives, which are part of the objectives of UBE, target young people, especially girls, who dropped out of school and women who may never have had any schooling. Other potential beneficiaries are children of nomads and other migrant workers, children receiving Koranic education i.e. ahlmajarai and disabled children. The training and re-training of literacy instructors have gone on apace. In several states, a safety net is provided completers of the non-formal education programme to enable them to enter the formal school system. The challenges that the programme is facing include the following: a) The irregular attendance of some girls and women at classes. b) The lingering reluctance of some husbands to release their wives to attend literacy classes and of fathers to release their daughters c) Inadequacy of instructional materials, arising from paucity of operational funds d) Weak database on which the programme operates. Apart from the legal enactment already put in place by some state governments, local support helps to discourage parents who may still be inclined towards withdrawing their daughters from school for the purpose of giving them away in early marriage. Greater sensitization is already helping in reducing the number of boys in the South-East and South-South who drop out of school so as to take up 16 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

19 apprenticeship trading. Non-formal schools have been set up in shopping areas in three large cities where there is a large concentration of young traders. On another positive note, there has been much greater awareness all over the country of the value of non-formal education. The role of the mass media in bringing this about is worthy of commendation. The resolve of the Nigerian government is to make every citizen literate as soon as practicable. One clear way in which the commitment is being demonstrated is through increased budgetary allocation. According to figures obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Government s budgetary allocation to education in 1990 was 5.5% of the total budget and 4.2% of the total expenditure. In 1995, these rose to 11.5% and 4.9% respectively. Data quoted in CSPD in Nigeria: Key Social Statistics (NPC/UNICEF 1998) put the percentage of the total budgetary allocation to education for 1996, 1997 and 1998 at: 10.8%, 7.4% and 10.9%, respectively. While these allocations fall below the UNESCO prescribed minimum, it should be noted that it is supplemented with allocations by the state and local governments, disbursements from the Petroleum Trust Fund and the Education Tax Fund, and support from donor agencies. (g) Ensuring special attention to children living under especially difficult circumstances; including by ending their exploitation through labour; and by combating drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse among young people. The additional global indicators to monitor children s rights and welfare were meant to monitor the situation of the children with focus on children who may be especially disadvantaged. These include children who are not living with a biological parent or are orphans, children who are subjected to the worst, most hazardous forms of child labor, children who have become victims of trafficking or of sexual exploitation, and children who are incarcerated in prisons and other custodial institutions. While there are no national household surveys reporting the current situation of additional indicators for monitoring children s rights, many qualitative and quantitative studies in Nigeria have pointed in the direction of gross abuse of children s rights and widespread endorsement of corporal punishment. The problem of domestic abuse of children has been exacerbated by urbanization and growing poverty, which have not only increased the strains on families caring capacity, but eroded the traditional extended family mechanisms for providing mutual support and checking abuse. Areas of progress include the following: A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on 8 August 2000 between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ILO, which has launched the ILO-IPEC country programme, a multisectoral integrated, step-wise strategies approach to the elimination of child labor in the country. The direct beneficiaries will be about 3,000 child workers who will mainstream into regular formal and non-formal educational programmes and vocational training. Nigeria is also participating in an ILO-IPEC regional programme on combating the trafficking of children in West and Central Africa. The response to the increasing knowledge of external trafficking has been encouraging. A number of NGOs and religious bodies have started responding to the problem. For example, in Benin City, Edo State, a coalition has emerged between a religious NGO (Sisters of Mercy), the Association of Catholic Lawyers and the African Women Empowerment Group (AWEG) to find solutions to the problem. A Steering Committee on IPEC is to be inaugurated in December A National Inter-Sectoral Plan of Action on child trafficking and exploitation has been prepared by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development. Constraints faced include the following: The Nigeria Labor Act permits child labor where the child is employed by a member of his family on light work of an agricultural, horticultural or domestic character approved by the minister (Article 32 (1) (a)). Furthermore, Article 32 (3) permits the employment of children under End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

20 years on a daily wage, on day to day basis as long as they return to their home at night. An exception is made in the case of young persons in domestic service, making them one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of children. Nigeria has not yet ratified ILO conventions 138 of 1973, regarding minimum age for hazardous work and 182 of 1999, which targets the elimination of worst forms of child labor. The Nigeria prison service has admitted that the two borstal institutions in the country had become grossly inadequate for the treatment of young offenders and that, in consequence, juveniles below sixteen years are being kept in regular prisons where they easily get contaminated by adult criminals (CLO 1993). (h) Ensure special protection of children in armed conflict and building of foundation for a peaceful world by promoting the values of peace, tolerance, understanding, and dialogue. There are no national population-based surveys reporting on the current situation of additional indicators for monitoring children s rights as it affects children in armed conflicts. However, several studies have confirmed children s involvement in communal or political violence either as victims or, unfortunately, as perpetrators of heinous acts of murder, arson, burglary and theft. Top on the list of effects of communal conflicts on Nigerian children is their criminalization. Older children of fifteen to eighteen years were reported to have been ready recruits in the recurring conflicts of Ogoni land, Ife- Modakeke, Ijaw/Itsekiri Urhobo, Jukun-Kutes, Aguleri-Umuleri and during the more recent communal clashes in Sagamu, Kano, Kaduna and Lagos. Unfortunately, for many children, communal conflicts have occasioned for them the loss of their parents, abandonment, disabling injuries and in many more cases, loss of lives and properties. Added to displacements, living as refugees in army barracks, having to relocate, and in the process losing school time have characterized each of these communal conflicts in Nigeria. There are current initiatives to foster conflict resolution mechanisms in communities by NGOs such as: the African Refugee Foundation (ARF), Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), Space 2000, the USAID/Office of Transitional Initiatives and Academic Associates Peace Works. There are also initiatives by the Centre for African Peace Initiatives and the proposed ECOWAS Child Protection Unit to enhance the protection rights of children and women during communal conflicts. As a result of the increased frequency of communal conflicts and other humanitarian challenges in Nigeria with their direct and indirect effects on children and women, the need for better emergency preparedness is becoming increasingly urgent. Sentinel centres for monitoring violence before reaching children are being established by NGOs. Constraints faced include: Institutional mechanisms that are in place and expected to be the main focal point of addressing emergency preparedness issues are either not adequately equipped to handle the situation in the most desirable way or they are just not sensitive to the specific plight of children and women under such circumstances. Agencies like the National Refugee Commission (NRC) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) appear to restrict themselves to their perceived mandate of intervening exclusively only in crises which occasion influx of aliens and natural disasters respectively. For government ministries/agencies, the ad-hoc post conflict approach of situational appraisal is the traditional response mechanism to conflict situations. (i) Preventing the degradation of the Environment by pursuing the World Summit Goals, by inculcating respect for the natural environment, and by changing wasteful consumption patterns. Among the WSC goals is the need for signatories to work for common measures for the protection of the environment. A poor environment will impact adversely on the survival of children and women. Rapid population growth rate and rural-urban migration have had adverse consequences on the 18 End-Decade Review Report, Nigeria. 2000

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