The Room Was Full to Support and Protect Vulnerable Children in Nigeria

Nigeria SSW report slideshow

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In December, the government of Nigeria launched a key report aimed at protecting orphans and vulnerable children in its Federal Capital Territory. IntraHealth’s USAID-funded CapacityPlus project contributed to the report and participated in the event.

The Child Protection System Strengthening Mapping and Assessment Report for Federal Capital Territory looks at the state’s child protection risks and gaps, and examines continuum of care, accountability mechanisms, and resource mobilization of the state’s existing child protection system. It ultimately aims to strengthen delivery of quality child protection services in the state.

According to the report, there are 17.5 million orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria. It’s estimated that 39% of children ages 5-14 are engaged in child labor; approximately 40% of children do not attend primary school; and as many as 40% of children may have been trafficked.

The report is part of a larger government activity to assess child protection systems in six states. Each report identifies the major gaps in the state, providing the basis for evidence-based suggestions to improve child protection at the state and local government level. The reports also include related services and expenditures in all relevant ministries in each state, which can be used to advocate for increased funding for child protection services.

The risk situations in the six states are similar. Notably, all report a shortage of trained, professional social workers both within the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to oversee and create appropriate policies for the child protection system, and within community service organizations to provide family assessments and case management for vulnerable children and families.

Multiple partners contributed to the report, including the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Federal Capital Territory Administration, UNICEF, CapacityPlus, and Maestral International.

Scroll through the photos above to see Samuel Ngobua, IntraHealth’s chief of party in Nigeria, addressing participants, as well as other stakeholders. You’ll also spot representatives of the Child Rights Brigade, a local NGO that advocates for child rights (in the blue and white shirts and yellow vests). These dedicated and trained volunteers help identify and report instances of child abuse. Children from the Federal Capital Territory Children’s Parliament and orphanage home were also in attendance.

Learn more about CapacityPlus’s work to strengthen the social service workforce and contribute to more effective systems that improve the lives of vulnerable children and families:

Find out more about CapacityPlus’s other work in Nigeria:

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Photos by Joseph Eton