10 Right of Child in Nigeria You Never Knew.
Right of Child in Nigeria… In Nigeria, children’s Rights are protected by law and held sacred, not only does the law protect the child; it also stipulates punishment for adults who take advantage of children or seek to negatively influence them. The law seeks to prevent cruelty against children while stating the rights and obligations of the Nigerian Child.
Note Prior to the 2003 Child Rights Act, Nigerian child protection was defined by the Children and Young People’s Act (CYPA), a law relating primarily to juvenile justice. Nigeria signed on to the International Human Rights convention agreement on the rights of child.
It was officially passed into law in 2003 by Chief Olusegun Obansanjo as the Children’s Rights Act 2003 (CRA).
The Children’s Rights Act 2003 (CRA) was created to serve as a legal documentation and protection of Children rights and responsibilities in Nigeria. responsibilities of children, and which consolidates all laws relating to children into one single legislation, as well as specifying the duties and obligations of government, parents and other authorities, organizations and bodies.
Right of a Nigerian Child
In regard to legal contracts, the Act states that No child shall enter into a contract, except as provided by the provisions of the Act and any contract, except a contact for necessaries, entered into by a child for repayment of money lent or for payment of goods supplied to the child, shall be void. Other rights of the Nigerian child of the Child’s Right Act include:
1. Every child has the right to a name and, accordingly, shall be given a name on his birth or on such other date as is dictated by the culture of his parents or guardian.
2. The Act prohibits Child marriage as no person under the age of 18 years is capable of contracting a valid marriage, and accordingly a marriage so contracted is null and void and of no effect whatsoever. In addition, parents and guardians are precluded from arranging or facilitating child betrothals and any person who marries a child; or to whom a child is betrothed; or who promotes the marriage of a child; or who betroths a child, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000; or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
3. It is against the law to tattoo or mark the skin of a child, any person who tattoos or makes a skin mark on a child commits an offence under the Act and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand naira or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to both such fine and imprisonment.
4. Exposing a child to the use or trafficking of narcotics is a serious crime and any person found guilty is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life. Employing a child for the facilitation of criminal acts is also an offence under the Act and any person found guilty is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of fourteen years.
5. It is unlawful to have sexual intercourse with a child; any person who contravenes this provision commits an offence of rape and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life. Where a person is charged with an offence under this section, it is immaterial that- the offender believed the person to be of or above the age of eighteen years; or the sexual intercourse was with the consent of the child.
6. It may be interesting to note that a child may bring an action for damages against a person for harm or injury caused to the child will-fully, recklessly, negligently or through neglect before, during or after the birth of that child.
Also, where the father of an unborn child dies intestate, the unborn child is entitled, if he was conceived during the lifetime of his father, to be considered in the distribution of the estate of the deceased father. Where the mother of an unborn child dies intestate before the child is delivered, the unborn child is entitled, if he survives his mother, to be considered in the distribution of the estate of the deceased mother.
7. Every child has the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly in conformity with the law and in accordance with the necessary guidance and directions of his parents or guardians.
8. No child shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.
9. Every Nigerian child is entitled to rest, leisure and enjoyment of the best attainable state of physical, mental and spiritual health.
10. Child abduction and forced exploitative labor (which is not of a light nature) or in an industrial undertaking are also stated to e offences. The exceptions to these provisions are where the child is employed by a family member, in work that is of an agricultural or horticultural or domestic in nature, and if such a child is not required to carry or move anything heavy that is likely to adversely affect its moral, mental, physical spiritual or social development.
Every child has the right to free, compulsory and universal basic education and it shall be the duty of the Government in Nigeria to provide such education.
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