I have always been an active campaigner against child abuse, violence and rape and sexual harassment of children, especially young vulnerable girls. So, I was saddened and highly disturbed by the latest UN report that about 120 million girls around the world get raped or sexually abused before they reach the age of 20. This alarming figure represents nearly one in ten girls!
The UN report which gathered data from 190 countries also shows that sexual violence against boys is also becoming widespread although it is lesser compared to that of girls and is more under reported.
I won’t like to keep on with the statistics, you can see them in this BBC report about child sexual abuse. I’ve severally written about countries which are known for high levels of rape including the Democratic Republic of Congo referred to as the ‘rape capital of the world’; South Africa, where one girl gets raped every three minutes; India, where recent cases of violent gang rapes has generated international attention; Pakistan where recent reports expose the shameful activities of paedophiles.
Very worrying also is the increase in the cases of child homicide. Nigeria has the highest cases of child homicides in the world and this is also prevalent in Latin America countries such as Venezuela, Panama, Brazil and Colombia.
A shocking number of children (13,000) were murdered in Nigeria in 2012. Another grave form of abuse against children is child marriage which is prevalent in many cultures of African and Asian countries.
It is very sad that anyone can even think of hurting or abusing innocent vulnerable children. It is very despicable and unthinkable. Sexual abuse, rape and other forms of violence against children are the gravest form of human rights abuses. Our responsibility is to protect OUR children and provide a safe environment for them to grow. The world can no longer sit back and watch thousands of children go through so much suffering and pain. Governments of countries where child abuse is prevalent must take strong steps to protect these children. I am so emotional as I write this post and I really hope I’m making sense. Its just never right to take advantage of children. In most of these cases of abuse; family members, guardians, care takers, teachers and even law enforcement officers are involved. Just imagine the high rate of child murders in Nigeria! It is so sad and I just hope and pray for a world where we would let our children be children and give them the care and protection they deserve.