This year, the Global Initiative is implementing a new and exciting project, together with Amnesty International Nigeria, to bring law reform on corporal punishment to the forefront of the Government’s agenda. Nigeria’s first national Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) conducted in 2014 found half of all children experience physical violence, with parents or adult relatives the most common perpetrator. Funded by Advocates for International Development's Rule of Law Expertise UK (ROLE UK) programme and UKAid, this project will begin to address the outdated legislative approach to corporal punishment.
The project kicked off in February 2020 with a consultative seminar held in Abuja. This two-day event brought a range of stakeholders and partners together from across Government, civil society and UN agencies to establish a consultative platform to examine challenges and opportunities for achieving prohibition and elimination of corporal punishment of children in Nigeria, particularly in light of Nigeria's commitments under the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and Africa's Agenda for Children 2040.
Over the two days, participants considered the current legal framework and opportunities to promote law reform, including using regional mechanisms and strategic litigation. They also planned for challenges to reform and identified a strong coalition of partners, including faith-based organisations and traditional leaders, to implement a long-term project towards the prohibition and elimination of corporal punishment of children.
The project will continue over the coming months, with a view to holding a strategic law reform workshop later in the year.