#endcuttinggirls STRENGTHENING THE CAPACITY OF CHILDREN TO REPORT FGM/C AND OTHER FORMS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN
On the 19th October,2017; the 3rd Week of the 4th Quarter, 2017: tweet conference under supervision of UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Program on FGM/C abandonment campaign).
Three of us ( 1. Opeyemi Yekini @ope2y 2. Victoria Okorie @okorievictoria4 and 3. Raymond Ukwa @rayvocate) are the co-anchors for the conference.
4a. And your questions and answers would be entertained from 6:15pm till 7pm. Kindly ensure you retweet and follow the discussion.
4b. The overall aim is to adequately build their capacity as end FGM/C advocates and contribute to the attainment of SDG5.3
We shall discuss this topic under 8 key areas:
Introduction ; Background information on FGM/C ; VAC Findings from the National Survey 2014 ;
ACUTE AND LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN ;
Key actors (duty-bearers) involved in capacity building of children ; Building the Life Skills of the children ;
Roles and Responsibilities the 21 Key Actors (Duty-Bearers) in strengthening the capacity of the children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC ;
Conclusion, including Questions/Answers
The children must be allowed to exercise their fundamental human rights.
Child Right Convention: Article 12, Section 1
11a. “States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in
11b …all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.”
Background information about FGM/C
What is FGM/C? : FGM/C is the "all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of external genitalia or …
13... other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.." The World Health Organization (WHO) 1997.
14. Nigeria has the third highest absolute number of women and girls: 19.9 million
15. Who is at Risk of FGM/C?
16.Young girls 0-15yrs and women. 3 million girls are at risk of FGM/C each year;
17. 200 million girls/women worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM/C; (WHO,2016)
18a. FGM/C violates a series of well-established human rights principles, norms and standards
18b.Principles of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex
18c.Right to life when the procedure results in death
18d.Right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
18e.Rights of the child ; Right to the highest attainable standard of health.
19. FGM/C situation in Nigeria
For further details on FGM/C visit endcuttinggirls.org
20. FGM/C is a typical example of Violence Against Children(VAC)
21. VAC Findings from the National Survey 2014:
There is a high prevalence of violence against children in Nigeria
22. Before the age of 18 years: Approximately 6 out of every 10 children experience some form of violence
One in two children experience physical violence ; One in four girls and one in ten boys experience sexual violence
One in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence
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
Children often experience more than one TYPE of violence either at the same time or at different points in childhood
Violence starts at a young age ; Of those children who experienced violence:
Over half of children first experienced physical violence between the ages of 6 and 11.
Approximately 1 in 10 children first experienced physical violence under the age of 5
A third of girls experienced their first incident of sexual violence between 14 and 15
Almost a third of boys experienced their first incident of sexual violence at 13 years and younger
26% of girls and 10% of boys reported that their first sexual intercourse was forced
Approximately half of children first experienced emotional violence before the age of 12
CHILDREN ARE NOT SPEAKING OUT, SEEKING OR RECEIVING SERVICES
Less than half of all respondents who experienced physical violence tell someone
Sexual violence had even lower rates of disclosure - only 38% of girls and 27% of boys tell someone
CHILDREN DO NOT KNOW WHERE TO SEEK HELP: Children have a low awareness of people or services from which they could seek help
Of those that experienced sexual violence, boys had significantly higher awareness than girls of where they can seek help (39% of boys v 16% of girls)
BUT EVEN WHERE CHILDREN KNOW WHERE TO SEEK HELP, FEW DO
Of those who experienced sexual or physical violence:
Less than 5% received help (2% of boys who experienced sexual violence received help)
Violence has a serious impact on girls’ and boys’ lives and future
Compared to persons who have never experienced childhood violence:
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
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
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
Adults are significantly more likely to perpetrate physical violence against their intimate partner If they experienced physical or sexual violence in childhood
45b. If they experienced physical violence - 20% v 7% for females, and 29% v 10% for males
45c.If they experienced sexual violence – 23% v 10% for females and 38% v 18% for males
45d. 1 in 7 females reported becoming pregnant as a result of unwanted completed sex
Location of sexual violence : The survey examined the context of the first experience of sexual violence
Children were most likely to experience sexual violence in the perpetrator’s home (50% for girls and 32% for boys), followed by their own home (19% for girls and 31% for boys)
15% of girls and 25% of boys first experience of sexual violence was at school
ACUTE AND LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN :
50a . Physical health consequences: Abdominal/thoracic injuries , Brain injuries , Bruises and welts , Burns and scalds 50b. Central nervous system injuries ; Fractures ; Lacerations and abrasions Damage to the eyes ; Disability 51Sexual and reproductive consequences: Reproductive health problems ; Sexual dysfunction ; Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS , Unplanned pregnancy 52a. Psychological consequences : Alcohol and drug abuse ; Cognitive impairment 52b. Criminal, violent and other risk-taking behaviour ; Depression and anxiety ; Developmental delays 52c. Eating and sleep disorders , Feelings of shame and guilt , Hyperactivity , Poor relationships ; Poor school performance 52d. Poor self-esteem , Post-traumatic stress disorder , Psychosomatic disorders , Suicidal behaviour and self-harm
53. Other longer-term health consequences: Cancer , Chronic lung disease , Irritable bowel syndrome , Ischaemic heart disease ; Liver disease 53b. Reproductive health problems such as infertility
54. Building the Life Skills of the children is essential to strengthen their capacity to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC
55. 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
56. Negotiation skill 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
57. 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.
58. 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
59. Goal Setting skill for children: Enable them to plan what they want to achieve in life
60. 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.
61. Assertiveness skill for children: Enable them to stand up for their rights without violating the rights of others, as end FGM/C advocate.
62. Time Management skill for children: Enable them to organize their activities to achieve the best results within the time available
63. Value clarification skill for children: Values are ideas, beliefs, principles standard or qualities that are important to them, desirable and highly prized
64. Key actors ( duty-bearers) essential in protecting and strengthening children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC
65. 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.
66.a There are series of activities needed to strengthen capacity of the children on how to report:
Sensitization Seminars for the children and the actors on modalities of reporting FGM/C and other forms of VAC cases
66b. Adequate sensitization seminar on basic information of forms of violence and who to report to.
66c. Training of Children and Duty-bearers (actors) on Synergy-building for reporting FGM/C and other forms of FGM/C
66d. Involvement of children in community dialogue and other children-related programs on the issues of FGM/C and other VAC
67. Roles and Responsibilities the Key Actors ( Duty-Bearers) in strengthening the capacity of the children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC
68a. Parents : The parents have the legitimate responsibility to explain to their children the different forms of VAC and how to report them. They must be friendly to their children, and not scare them away from reporting.
68b. When you allow them to report small domestic issues, they would be strengthened to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC cases in the similar way.
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.
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.
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, child-focused training on VAC, child-focused groups discussion, etc. This approach would enable them to
Village Leaders : Ensure that all the children in their Village constituencies are regularly encouraged to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC
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. They must encourage them to have direct access to the community leaders.
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 NYSC endVAC ambassadors
In Nigeria, many of the corps members were trained while 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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
87.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
Expectedly, all the duty-bearers are to sensitize the children under their control on VAC cases, how to report them, and who to report them to.
Looking inward: PERPETRATORS ARE OVERWHELMINGLY PEOPLE WHOM CHILDREN KNOW
90: Physical violence: A parent or adult relative is the most common perpetrator of physical violence in childhood (35.5% for females and 34.1% for males)
91.Adults in the neighborhood accounted for 28.7% of violence against girls and 24.7% of violence against boys
92.Male teachers are the most frequent perpetrators of the first incident of physical violence for both boys and girls (over 50%)
93.(Physical violence = punching (hitting with a fist), kicking, whipping, beating with an object, choking, smothering, trying to drown, burning intentionally)
94. Sexual violence: Girls’ first experience of sexual violence is most commonly by a romantic partner, followed by a friend, neighbor, classmate and stranger
95. 70% of girls perceived perpetrators to be 5 years or older; Boys’ first experience of sexual violence is most commonly a classmate or a neighbor
96. Emotional violence: Amongst adult caregiver or relative perpetrators of emotional violence, parents/step parents, followed by uncles/aunts, are the most common perpetrators of first incident of emotional violence
97. Ponder on this: Soremi (not real name): Who actually failed here?
All of us! We failed Soremi
98. Conclusion: Children have are key stakeholder in reporting FGM/C and other forms of VAC
Every duty-bearers have significant roles to play in strengthening the capacity of children to report FGM/C and other forms of VAC
FGM/C has no known health benefits, FGM/C violates a series of well-established human rights principles
Traditions can be beneficial, neutral or harmful
Social Norms can resolve the tension between what is the best choice for the group and the best choice for the individual.
For a social norm to change within a community or social group, social expectations must change.
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’
Decision-making around FGM/C is embedded in community dynamics and should be considered when designing interventions.
The children must be encouraged and comprehensively supported to report FGM/C and other forms of FGM/C.
In the State by State reporting template and data flow of the VAC cases, the children should be involved and allowed to speak out on matters that concerns them.
For further details visit www.endcuttinggirls.org