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Strengthening the Capacity of Children to Report FGM/C and other forms of Violence Against Children (VAC) ( Conference Manuscript)

        
1.   Today (19th October; the 3rd Week of the 4th Quarter, 2017: tweet conference under supervision of UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Program on FGM/C abandonment campaign).#endcuttinggirls 
2.   The topic is “Strengthening the capacity of children to report FGM/C and other forms of violence against children.#endcuttinggirls
3.   This will be anchored by @ope2y, co-anchored by @okorievictoria4 and @rayvocate. #endcuttinggirls
4.   Questions and answers would be entertained from 6:15pm till 7pm. Kindly ensure you retweet and follow the discussion. #endcuttinggirls
5.   We will begin with a brief introduction of FGM/C and  later relate duly with VAC. #endcuttinggirls
6.   FGM/C is the "all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or …
7.    ... other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.."The World Health Organization (WHO) 1997.
8.    Nigeria has the third highest absolute number of women and girls: 19.9 million
9.    Young girls between 0-15yrs and women are at risk of FGM/C. 
10.  Below is a picture showing  FGM/C situation in Nigeria
11.   

12.  For further details on FGM/C visit endcuttinggirls.org
13.  20. FGM/C is a typical example of Violence Against Children(VAC) #endcuttinggirls

14.   VAC Findings from the National Survey 2014 Shows there is a high prevalence of violence against children in Nigeria. #endcuttinggirls


15.  Before the age of 18 years: Approximately 6 out of every 10 children experience some form of violence. #endcuttinggirls
16.  One in two children experience physical violence  ;One in four girls and one in ten boys experience sexual violence. #endcuttinggirls 
17.  One in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence. #endcuttinggirls

18.  Violence is rarely an isolated incident: The majority (approximately 80%) of children who experience physical, sexual or emotional violence in childhood do so on multiple occasions . #endcuttinggirls
19.  Children often experience more than one TYPE of violence either at the same time or at different points in childhood#endcuttinggirls
20.  Violence starts at a young age ;Of those children who experienced violence: #endcuttinggirls
21.  Over half of children first experienced physical violence between the ages of 6 and 11. #endcuttinggirls
22.  Approximately 1 in 10 children first experienced physical violence under the age of 5#endcuttinggirls
23.  A third of girls experienced their first incident of sexual violence between 14 and 15. #endcuttinggirls
24.  Almost a third of boys experienced their first incident of sexual violence at 13 years and younger. #endcuttinggirls
25.  26% of girls and 10% of boys reported that their first sexual intercourse was forced. #endcuttinggirls
26.  Approximately half of children first experienced emotional violence before the age of 12. #endcuttinggirls
27.  With all the consistency in occurrence of this violence, children are not speaking out, seeking or receiving services. #endcuttinggirls
28.  These children do not know where to seek help and this is because they have a low awareness of people or services from which they could seek help. #endcuttinggirls
29.  Its been discovered that less than half of all respondents of these children who experienced physical violence tell someone. #endcuttinggirls
30.  And sexual violence has even lower rates of disclosure than any other violence. Only 38% of girls and 27% of boys tell someone. #endcuttinggirls
31.  Of those that experienced sexual violence, boys had significantly higher awareness than girls of where they can seek help (39% of boys vs 16% of girls) #endcuttinggirls
32.  But only a few of them who experienced sexual or physical violence   go all out to seek help. #endcuttinggirls
33.  Violence has a serious impact on girls’ and boys’ lives and future when compared to persons who have never experienced childhood violence. #endcuttinggirls
34.  Physical violence is associated with higher rates of  mental distress, thoughts of suicide, and symptoms or diagnosis of an sexually transmitted infection (STI) among females and with mental distress, thoughts of suicide, and substance use among males. #endcuttinggirls
35.  Sexual violence is associated with higher risk for symptoms or diagnosis of STIs, mental distress and thoughts of suicide among females and with mental distress among males. #endcuttinggirls
36.  Emotional violence is associated with rates levels of mental distress and thoughts of suicide amongst females and high levels of mental distress and drinking amongst males #endcuttinggirls

37.   We will briefly discuss the acute and long-term consequences of violence against children. #endcuttinggirls

38.  Physical health consequences: Abdominal/thoracic injuries , Brain injuries , Bruises and welts , Burns and scalds. #endcuttinggirls

39.  Sexual and reproductive consequences:  Reproductive health problems ;Sexual dysfunction ;  Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS ,               Unplanned pregnancy. #endcuttinggirls
40.   Psychological consequences :  Alcohol and drug abuse ;  Cognitive impairment, depression and anxiety and developmental delays. #endcuttinggirls
41.  Other longer-term health consequences:  Cancer , Chronic lung disease ,  Irritable bowel syndrome , Ischaemic heart disease ; Liver disease. #endcuttinggirls
42.  Building the Life Skills of the children is essential to strengthen their capacity to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC#endcuttinggirls

a.Communication skills  for Children: Their capacities are to be built effectively to transfer and receive information from other people as related to reporting FGM/C and other forms of VAC . #endcuttinggirls 
b.Negotiation skills for children :Negotiation is a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement. Negotiation would allow the trained children to solve problem or a conflict amicably while reporting FGM/C and other VAC. #endcuttinggirls
c.Refusal skill for children: It is necessary for their psychological and social development to be handle possible challenges while reporting FGM/C and other VAC. #endcuttinggirls
d. Decision Making skill for children : It would enable them arrive at a conclusion after much consideration has been given about which action to take, while reporting FGM/C and other VAC. #endcuttinggirls
e.Goal Setting skill for children: Enable them to plan what they want to achieve in life. #endcuttinggirls
f.Building Self Esteem skill for children: Enable them to have good judgment with regards to themselves, in reporting FGM/C and other forms of VAC. #endcuttinggirls
g. Assertiveness skill for children: Enable them to stand up for their rights without violating the rights of others, as end  FGM/C  advocate. #endcuttinggirls
h.Time Management skill for children: Enable them to organizetheir activities to achieve the best results within the time available. #endcuttinggirls
i. Value clarification skill for children: Values are ideas, beliefs, principles standard or qualities that are important to them, desirable and highly prized. #endcuttinggirls

43.   Key actors ( duty-bearers) essential in protecting and strengthening children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC . #endcuttinggirls

44.   The above Actors have their roles to play in strengthening the capacity of the children to report FGM/C and other forms of FGM/C. #endcuttinggirls
45.  There are series of activities needed to strengthen capacity of the children on how to report: 
46.  Sensitization Seminars for the children and the actors on modalities of reporting FGM/C and other forms of  VAC  cases. #endcuttinggirls
47.   Adequate sensitization seminar on basic information of forms of violence and who to report to. #endcuttinggirls
48.  Training of  Children and Duty-bearers (actors) on Synergy-building for reporting FGM/C and other forms of FGM/C. #endcuttinggirls
49.   Involvement of children in community dialogue and other children-related programs on the issues of FGM/C and other VAC. #endcuttinggirls

50.   Roles and Responsibilities the Key Actors ( Duty-Bearers) in strengthening the capacity of the children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC
51.   Parents :The parents have the legitimate responsibility to explain to their children the different forms of VAC and how to report them.. #endcuttinggirls
52.  Caregivers :Inclusively, the caregivers have the responsibility of strengthening the capacity of the children to report VAC cases to them. The children have confident in them, and can easily relate well with them. #endcuttinggirls
53.  Extended Family: Whenever, the children are with their extended family members, they must be given opportunity to express themselves freely, thereby strengthening their capacity to report VAC cases freely to them. #endcuttinggirls
54.  NGOs/CSOs: They have are virtually in all the communities, and have access to the children. They have the responsibilities of empowering the children, through various strategies, such as  child-focused seminars on VAC. #endcuttinggirls
55.  Village Leaders :Ensure that all the children in their Village constituencies are regularly encouraged  to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC. #endcuttinggirls
56.  Community leaders :It is very essential, that the community leaders must ensure there is conducive environment for the children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC. #endcuttinggirls
57.  Social Media & Community Advocates (SMcA): By the virtue of their training and capacity on FGM/C abandonment campaign , they must carry the children in the communities and constituencies/States along in report FGM/and other forms of FGM/C without hindrance: Trained NYSCendVAC ambassadors 
a.   In Nigeria, many of the corps members were trained while at camp as the endVAC ambassadors, and they are across the 774 LGAs of the country. One of their thematic roles is to strengthen the capacity of the children to report all forms of VAC cases , and from there take up the matter on behalf of the children. #PlateauStateSuceessStories
58.  Women Leaders : The women leaders should ensure that, the children are always included in their program for the welfare of the children. They should encourage their women-colleagues to encourage all their children to speak out in reporting FGM/C and other forms of VAC. #endcuttinggirls
59.  School Administrators/Teachers :All the schools administrators, from Nursery to Primary to Secondary ( Child Age 0-17years) must be allowed to express themselves freely to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC . #endcuttinggirls
60.  Uniformed Men//Women: Whenever the enforcement is required, when the children are involved as the victim or as reporter, the uniformed men and women should handle the case diligently. #endcuttinggirls
61.  Youth Leaders :Ensure that, they encourage and support the children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC. They should not betray the confidence of the children. #endcuttinggirls
62.  State/National Legislators :Ensure that all the necessary laws are in place for the children to report all forms of VAC cases freely without been unduly penalized. #endcuttinggirls
63.  Religious leaders :They are to encourage the children in the various worship Centres to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC to them directly without fear. God love the children, and the religious leaders are the representative of God, thereby must love the children, not scare them away from reporting issues that directly affect them. #endcuttinggirls
64.  Traditional leaders :Being the custodian of the traditions, they must encourage the children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC to them directly, or to their chiefs, without unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks. #endcuttinggirls
65.  Ward leaders:The ward leaders must handle all the cases of FGM/C and other forms of VAC reported to them by the children seriously, and follow it up#endcuttinggirls. 
66.  LGAs MDAs (Child Welfare Unit): It is the responsibility of the Child Welfare Unit to ensure that, every child in their LGAs are empowered to report cases of FGM/C and other forms of VAC. #endcuttinggirls
67.  State MDAs (Child Welfare Unit): It is the obligation of the State Child Welfare Unit, commonly located under the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social at the State level to ensure that the children are encouraged to open up and report FGM/C and other forms of VAC. Also to compile and follow up the reported cases from the LGAs. 
68.  Federal MDAs (Child Welfare Unit): The federal Ministry, Department and Agencies especially the child welfare in ensuring that, the capacity of the children are well strengthened to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC. Also to compile and follow up the reported cases of FGM/C and other forms of VAC from the entire States of the federation. #endcuttinggirls 
69.  International Development Partners :Currently, they are update and empowering the children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC. This conference today is as a result of the effort of the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Program on FGM/C : Accelerating Change . #endcuttinggirls
70.  Global leaders and World influencers :They have their major role in influencing the national leaders to empower the children in their countries to speak out and report FGM/C and other forms of VAC. #endcuttinggirls
71.  Quickly,I would want us all to ponder on this: Soremi (not real name): Who actually failed here? #endcuttinggirls


72.  Conclusion:Children have are key stakeholder in reporting FGM/C and other forms of VAC. #endcuttinggirls
73.  Every duty-bearers have significant roles to play in strengthening the capacity of children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC. #endcuttinggirls
74.  FGM/C has no known health benefits, FGM/C violates a series of well-established human rights principles . #endcuttinggirls
75.  For a social norm to change within a community or social group, social expectations must change. #endcuttinggirls
76.  Changing the social norms of FGM/C will require the creation of a New Social Norm of keeping the girl intact: ‘The Wholeness of a Woman is as created’. #endcuttinggirls
77.  The children must be encouraged and comprehensively supported to report FGM/C and other forms of FGM/C. #endcuttinggirls. #endcuttinggirls



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