THE United Nation’s International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has described the COVID-19 crisis as a child rights crisis in Nigeria, which has resulted in as increase in the perpetration of violence against the Nigerian child.

A statement released by the UNICEF’s Country Director Peter Hawkins on Thursday in commemoration of the Nigerian Children’s Day stated that the celebration had arrived at a challenging moment for Nigerian children.

Hawkins stated that the pandemic posed a threat to decades of progress on child development as violence was perpetrated against one in four Nigerian children. He also noted that one in three Nigerian girls was sexually abused.

“The longer the pandemic goes on, the more intense the impact on women and children. On this Nigerian Children’s Day, let us all agree that we cannot let one crisis compound another,” he said

Hawkins, however, described Nigerian children as resilient and talented with aspirations to do great things and urged society to provide adequate encouragement for the realisation of these dreams.

Describing child protection as an effective means for national development, Hawkins encouraged more commitment towards protection mechanisms for all children.

“As we celebrate our children today, we must act in their best interests and deploy innovative solutions to fast-track learning and health services to build back better, for every Nigerian child,” he said.