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There are various legislations under the Nigerian legal system that seeks to protect the rights of the child. Majorly, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provided for human rights, Nigerian Children’s Trust Fund Act, Penal Code, Criminal Code, Children and Young Persons Act, Child Rights Act, which all have provisions for the protection of a child. The guiding principle on the issue of child protection is in the best interest of the child, the Child Rights Act 2003 and Niger State Child Rights Law 2010 affirmed this principle and provided various rights for the child and the mechanism for the enforcement of these rights. However, despite the existence of these various law that provided for the protection of the rights of a child, the children’s rights are been abused on daily basis, therefore, the dissertation appraised the protection of the rights of a child in Niger State by considering the Niger State Child Rights Law, and other related legislations. The Doctrinal and Empirical research methodology were used to source for information relied upon for this dissertation. It is the findings of this dissertation that there are inconsistencies in Niger State Child Rights Law 2010, and lack of commitment on the part of government to adequately enforce the laws that protect the child. It makes recommendations to the area of the inconsistency or defect in the law and also commitment on the part of the government constituted authorities in charge of the implementation of the Child Rights Law.
1.1 Background of the Research
The general frameworks within which human rights are protected in Nigeria include the rights of a child which are in Chapter IV of the 1999 CFRN. The Rights to fair hearing and the right to life, the rights to personal liberty and the right to freedom of movement among others, Section 421 prohibits unjustifiable
discrimination on basis of ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion2.
We have other legislations that seek to protect the rights of a child, like, Children and Young Persons Act, Criminal Code, Penal Code, Child Rights Act 2003. In 1996, Nigeria submitted its first report on the implementation of the Child Rights Convention to the United Nation Committee on the Rights of the Child.
One of the major recommendations made by the Committee was to finally ensure the domestication of the Child Rights Convention, as this is necessary for its full implementation in Nigeria3.