23 million girls and women are allegedly married out as children in Nigeria, The United Nations Children’s Fund says the country has the second-largest number of child brides in the world, thereby ending their educational strive.
Chief of Field Office UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office Bhanu Pathak, stated this in Bauchi State at a Youth Talk organized in commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
He said “Too many Nigerian children and young people are being left behind, especially when it comes to education. “Nigeria has the world’s highest number of out-of-school children; more than 10.5 million Nigerian children are not in school.
“Nigeria also has the second largest number of child brides in the world with 23 million girls and women married as children, and as such, ending their education’’
He reiterated UNICEF’s resolve to foster a stronger partnership with the Nigerian government at the federal and state levels for the realization of children’s rights.
The event which was organized by UNICEF and Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board, is tagged ‘The Nigeria We Want: Voices from Bauchi’, was sponsored by United Kingdom Department for International Development, with participants from six states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Plateau and Taraba States.
In his remarks, the President of Youth Advocates for Education, Mr Sagir Musa, said, the challenges of young people included high rate of unemployment, lack of basic life skills, drug abuse, political thuggery and illiteracy.
He commended the state government for collaborating with UNICEF, Bauchi Field Office, to organize such forum which gave young people the opportunity to have their voices heard and take decisions on matters that affected their lives.