Violence against children
Physical and psychological violence against children occur both in schools and within families – not to mention violence that affect children living on the streets or exploited by adults. Although educational institutions should have the capacity to train and socialise children without exposing them to violence, corporal punishment is still considered as a positive educational tool.
Reliable data on violence against children in Nigeria is scarce because violence is often not reported as it occurs mostly within the context where it is regarded as ‘normal’ such as within the family circle or behind the privacy of homes. The predominant cultural belief is that children must be submissive to elders therefore behaviour not in conformity with this is punished. The Committee on the Rights of the Child noted with concern that there is a generally high level of acceptance of domestic violence even amongst law enforcement officers and court personnel.
Another disturbing trend is the high prevalence rate of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria despite the various policies and legislations that have been put in place against the practice. Consequences of this practice include infibulations, shock due to severe bleeding, intense pain due to the traditional methods usually used, risk of HIV/AIDS and death in some cases.