The Almajiri Child Right Initiative (ACRI) has called on the Nigerian Government to immediately set up a multi-stakeholder task team to come up with a unified position on how to address the social, educational, nutritional, and security situation of the #AlmajiriChild including a medium-term enlightenment plan for building consensus with actors and benefactors.
The group which marked the Second Annual Almajiri Child Rights Day –25 May 2019, urged members of the 9th Assembly of the Nigerian Legislature to pick up where their predecessors left and pursue an all-encompassing solution to child destitution in Nigeria.
While noting that Nigeria and the world cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 without resolving the Almajiri Child Rights crisis, they called on the SDG advocates in Nigeria and their friends across the international community to add their voices to the plight of the #AlmajiriChild by joining the #13millionsignatures campaign
“With at least 8 of the 17 SDGs interconnected to the plight of Almajiri children, it simply means that nowhere in the world are child rights as critical to the attainment of SDGs as Northern Nigeria”, said Mohammed Sabo Keana, Team lead, ACRI. “It is an urgency driven by both time and demography that neither Nigeria nor the world can afford to miss if we are to meet our global targets by 2030”.
Furthermore, they stated that lack of accountability from parents, communities and government denies Almajiri children access to social justice.
The statement signed by 23 members partly read thus, “Today, the Almajiri Child Rights Initiative is joined by child right advocates in Nigeria and across the world to mark the 2nd Annual “Almajiri Child Rights Day” to draw and focus attention to one of the world’s most abused sets of children.
“We are joined by child rights advocates in 15 states in Northern Nigeria and 4 countries across the world to demand increased investment in education, public consciousness and support towards the innocent children caught in the Almajiri phenomenon.
“Last May, in marking the inaugural day, we pledged to engage critical stakeholders, especially actors and benefactors, civil society, government at all levels, as well as the local and international community towards developing and implementing policy that offers a long-term solution for returning dignity to the life of the #AlmajiriChild.
“Since then, we have witnessed some level of change in the narrative and a National Child Destitution Bill at the 8th Assembly.
“But our slow response belies the urgency of the crisis. 11 years from now, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) hope to have eliminated hunger, ensured decent work for all, and achieved 15 more things aimed to #LeaveNoOneBehind. At our current pace, over 10 million Almajiri children will be part of those who have been failed by the rest of us. It is for this reason that the theme for 2019 is Almajiri Child Rights and the SDGs.
“Today, we are also launching a campaign to collate 13.2million signatures — #13millionsignatures – representing the estimated total number of out-of-school children in Nigeria”, the statement read.