40% of African Population Live in Slums – Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says 40 per cent of African population live in slums because of poverty.

Osinbajo, who was the guest lecturer at the Dorcas Oke Hope Alive Initiative 12th Foundation Day annual public lecture in Ibadan, Oyo State said life is a living hell for children living in slums.

The Vice President who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye, delivered a lecture with the theme ‘Child abuse and the challenges of the African child.’

He said “Those who have studied the trend said 40 per cent of African population live in slum because of poverty. In that situation, you can almost predict that there will be child abuse. Everywhere in Africa, life is a living hell for slum residents.

“Majority of the children in African slum have lost one or both parents because of diseases that should not have killed them.

“HIV/AIDS kills a record number in African slums, mostly women and children. The slums are reputed as mostly lawless area with no security. Violence happens and people are killed and thrown in a gutter and life continues. This affects African child because they become orphans.

“What we don’t know is that certain practices amount to slavery. Statistics show that only 57 per cent of African children are enrolled in primary school and one in three will not finish the school.”

On enforcement of Child Rights Act in Nigeria, he said “In Nigeria, we passed the Child Rights Act in 2003 using the UN standard. About 24 states have already passed the law but only Lagos and Akwa Ibom are active in enforcing it. It must be understood that any ill-treatment, neglect, cruelty, violence of any kind meted to a child is child abuse.

“If your neighbour beats a child constantly and you don’t report to the police, it means you support what is going on. Under the law, you are part of the offence. Abuse could be infliction of tribal mark, tattoo, female genital mutilation, child abduction, child trafficking, child labour, child betrothal, child molestation, child prostitution, deprivation of education, child soldier and so on. These are abuses that can cause permanent damage to a child.”

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