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1.1 BACK GROUND OF STUDY.
United Nations children‟s fund is an agency of the United Nations responsible for program to aid education and the health of children and the mothers in developing countries. UNICEF is the world‟s leading organization focusing on children and child rights. UNICEF is the world leading advocate for children with strong presence in 190 countries. UNICEF (united nation children fund). UNICEF is a United Nations program headquartered in New York City. It is one of the members of the United Nations development group and its executive committee. UNICEF was created by the United Nations general assembly on December 11, 1946 to provide emergency food and health care to children in countries that had been divested by World War II. In 1953 UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system and its name was shortened from the original United Nations international children emergency fund but it has continued to be known by the popular acronym based on the previous title. UNICEF relies on contributions from the governments and private donors.
Governments contribute two third of the organization‟s resources; private groups and some 6million individuals contribute the rest through the national committees it is estimated that 91.8% of their revenue is distributed to program services. UNICEF‟s programs emphasize developing community level services to promote the health and well-being of children. Most of UNICEF work is in the field, with staff in over more than 200 country offices carryout UNICEF mission through a program developed with host government seventeen regional offices provides technical assistances to country offices as needed. UNICEF supply division based in Copenhagen and serves as the primary points of distributions for such essential items as vaccines, antiretroviral medicines for children and mothers with HIV, nutritional supplements, emergency shelters, educational supplies, among others. UNICEF is an intergovernmental organization (IGO) and thus is accountable to those governments. UNICEF is the main UN organization defending, promoting and protecting children‟s rights. It also works towards protecting the world‟s most disadvantage children. UNICEF believes that children have the rights to;
Rights to adequate nutrition.
Rights to education.
Rights to health.
Rights to participate.
Rights to protection.
UNICEF have 36 national committees that promotes children‟s rights, raise funds etc. child rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection are care afforded to minors, including the rights to associate with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education, health care and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child „s civil rights and freedom from discrimation on the basic of child‟s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, color, ethnicity or other characterizes. A child is any human being below the age of 18years unless the under law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. The term “child” often but does not necessarily mean minor, but can include adult as well as adult non-independent children.
UNICEF helps children who have been hurt during World War II. They help children all over the world during crisis and help with the funding. They help in protecting children from any form of violence‟s and abuse, protecting and advocating the rights of children and also immunization of infants from different diseases. Nigeria was one of the very first African countries where the United Nations children‟s fund (UNICEF) establishes a program of co-operation. UNICEF work for survival, protection and development of Nigerian children has continued ever since. Today UNICEF is still working in partnership with many stakeholders including children and families to achieve national and international goals instrumental in the fulfillment of children‟s rights.
UNICEF was created December 1946 by the United Nations to provide assistances to European children facing famine and disease after the Second World War. On October, the first basic agreement was signed to establish UNICEF‟s presences in Nigeria and subsequently an office was opened in Lagos. UNICEF first interventions in Nigeria were related to the endemic disease control through mass campaigns. In May 1967, Nigeria civil war led to humanitarian crises that
posed a challenge for UNICEF. The United Nations mandate did not allow it to intervenein civil conflict without the permission of the national government. However UNICEF insisted that its mandate was to provide assistances to all Nigerian children.
The milestone in the history of UNICEF includes the adoption of declaration of the rights of the child (1959) and the convention on the rights of the child (1989). The latter entered into force in September 1990 and became the most vilely accepted human rights treaty in the history of the UN. UNICEF was led by an executive director Ms. Ann .M. Veneman. The 1990 world summit for children in New York set ten years goals for children‟s health, nutrition and education. The general assembly special session on children convened in New York in 2002 reviewed progress made since the world summit for children‟s rights. It was the first session devoted exclusively to children and also the first to include them as official delegates. The goals of the “world fit for children” plan of action agreed upon during special session include protection against abuse, exploitation and violence‟s and the promotion of healthy lives for children. Today UNICEF‟s work covers a wide range of child-related issues. Priorities include immunization, education, early hood development, child protection and HIV/AIDS.
Conflict and the associated forced migration; have accelerated the spread of HIV/AIDS virus. HIV/AIDS has both direct and indirect effects on the security of children. United nations AIDS currently estimates that the majority of all new HIV infections occur in children are also affected by the virus through the death of the parents and the caregivers, creating an estimated 13.2 million orphaned by AIDS are more likely than other orphans to be at risk for malnutrition, diseases, abuse and sexual exploitation.HIV/AIDS has a particular impacts on girls who are left to care for ailing parents or who have to become the head of the household upon the death of the caregiver. The risk of sexual exploitation is particularly significant for those left alone to cope with poverty that are forced to adopt adult roles. In addiction children orphaned by AIDS often face stigmatization and discrimination within their communities. The survival strategies employed by children and families to deal with the diseases pandemic illustrate the link between the fundamental threats to the security of children. (UNICEF 1991)
Sexual violence especially against girls and young women is an extremely important dimension of children‟s insecurity especially in the light of often undetected consequences. Sexual abuse of children is associated with a range of physical, social, emotional, and academic impacts.
Although sexual abuse and violence affects boys and girls, girls and young women are the most frequent victims. Most studies of the west documents a far higher prevalence‟s of sexual abuse against girls than boys with an estimated ratio of 4 abused girls to every abused boy. During wars and civil conflicts, girls and women are particularly vulnerable to rape and other form of sexual violence with increasingly international travel and new channels of communication via the internet and other Medias, a burgeoning industry of international child sexual exploitation and trafficking in girls and women now thrives.
Recent data indicates that the internet has become an increasingly important medium for the exploitation of children. In some places families sell their daughters into sexual slavery as a strategy for family economic survival. Even international peacekeeping forces may be consumers of child prostitution and perpetrators of sexual exploitation in a number of the world are most poor and conflict ravaged zones. All domains of children‟s security from physical safety, basic, physiological need, access to education and livelihood and community connections and relationships are implicated in the sexual exploitations of children. Civil society organization are closely involved in the work of UNICEF at the country level, but they are also consulted in the formulation of policy at headquarter currently, UNICEF has formal agreement with hundreds of NGOs and individual leaders in 160 countries around the world, ranging from large networks, such as the save the children alliances to village water communities. UNICEF enters into various kinds of formal agreements depending on the nature of the collaboration.
For instances at the country level, it may sign a project co-operation agreement with a community of NGO. At the regional level, it may sign a joint program work with an inter faith network of organization and individuals. At the global level, it negotiates memoranda of understandings of the scouting movements or the international pediatrics associations. Each of these types of agreements has set criteria by which UNICEF identifies suitable partners. In all cases, the organization must be child rights oriented and fiscally sound. In some cases further strengthening those very capacities is the objectives of the collaboration.
Another highlight of NGO activity was the involvement of some 250 children and young people who served as NGO delegates to the children‟s forum and the special session. A large number of NGOs had been participating in both national and regional consultations and other advents that took place prior to the session. NGO views strongly influenced the outcome document which
was carefully crafted to take account of the contributions of the NGOs at the national, regional and international level.
UNICEFs 1998 state of the world‟s children reports termed hunger a “silent emergency” citing evidences from WHO that child malnutrition was implicated in over half of the deaths of children in developing countries in 1995 (UNICEF 1998). Although over the last three decade the rate of severe malnutrition has fallen globally, some areas of the world particularly sub-Saharan Africa, has felt increasing chronic food insecurity. In some regions, conflict exacerbates failures to secure the basic nutritional and health needs of civilians, with children being particularly affected for example the protected 12 years civil conflict in EL- Salvador aggravated chronic problems of hunger in the region.
Child malnutrition persisted at extremely high rates, the rates of child malnutrition was directly related to a delay in the implementation of reconstruction program and failures to provide basic health and social services. The problem of persistent malnutrition was strongly associated with delay in full cultivation of redistributed land in provision of water. UNICEF maintains a number of partnerships with the private sectors to immunize. Feed and educate children across the world. UNICEF has forged alliances with business community for more than fifty years in order to help improve children‟s live in a principled and effective manner that is benefited to everyone. Alliances are made with those behavior demonstrates a willingness to exercise corpote social responsibility and a commitment to UNICEF mandate and core values.
UNICEF provides funds for training the personnel including health and sanitation workers, teachers and nutritionist. A universal child immunization against preventable diseases by 1990 was one of the leading goals for UNICEF. They helped prevent diseases such as T.B, malaria, eye diseases and skin diseases. UNICEF performs various other functions such as the sole agency for children, it speaks on behalf of children and upholds the convention on the rights of the child and works for its implementation. UNICEF has helped secure improved treatment and legal aid for juveniles in conflict with the laws. As part of the project partnership that comprises the Nigerian association, it helped train magistrates, policy makers, prison officers, lawyers and social workers.
UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace in the year 1965 and the Indian Gandhi prize for peace in 1989.UNICEF supports and demands the universal application of the 1951 convention on human rights, insisting on the need to reunite and regroup refugees, as well as the need to preserve the civilian and humanitarian charters of refugee camp and their attendant facilities as enunciated in1987 by UNHCR‟s executive committee. (Richard Lawson 2001)
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
i. The establishment of UNICEF however did not help to protect the children due to conflict with the law for a variety of reasons.
ii. UNICEF is mandated to advocate the protection of children‟s rights and to help them meet their basic needs, but in recent times the UNICEF organization does not work in that standard way.
iii. UNICEF was created to profer the solution to the problem of child abuse in the society, to a reasonable extent the UNICEF organization has failed in that aspect because children are still being abused in the society.
iii. UNICEF obligation was to work actively in enhancing the standard and welfare of children, and also prevent them from violence but they have failed to take up the responsibility given to them.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY.
i. To examine the extent to which UNICEF can collaborate with other organization meant for helping children.
ii. To assess the performances of UNICEF in the protection of children.
iii. To suggest possible methods by which UNICEF can be of assistances to both the children and their mothers in developing countries.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS.
i. To what extent do you think that UNICEF can collaborate with other organization meant for helping children?
ii. What is the current performance of UNICEF in the protection of Nigerian children?
iii. What are the possible methods by which UNICEF can be of assistances to both the children and their mothers in developing countries?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS.
HO: UNICEF can not collaborate with other organizations meant for helping children.
HI: UNICEF can collaborate with other organization meant for helping children.
HO: There is no significant effect to the performances of UNICEF in the protection of children.
HI: There are significant effects to the performances of UNICEF in the protection of children.
HO: UNICEF can be of assistances to both the children and their mothers in developing countries.
HI: UNICEF can not be of assistances to both the children and their mothers in developing countries.
1.6 SIGNIFANCES OF THE STUDY.
i. The study is important because it will add to the existing knowledge of individuals and also it will help them to understand the different questions which they ask about UNICEF and how it helps the children in the society.
ii. The study will be useful to the society because it educates people on what child rights means and it also explains to people what UNICEF is all about.
iii. The study will be useful to the society because attempts will be made to profer workable solutions that will curb the high rate of children in the world that needs to be helped.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION.
The research is limited to the roles of UNICEF in the protection of the rights of children, with special references to Nigeria.