An Evaluation of the Awareness and Behaviour of Journalists in Campaign for Child Rights Act in Nigeria
1.1 Background of the Study
(Owolabi,2012) defines a child as a person under the age of 18 under the Child’s Rights Act and the African Children’s Charter. The Child’s Right Act of 2003 is a Nigerian law that protects the rights of all children. The Child’s Right Act has been enacted as a state legislation in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states thus far. As a result, twelve (12) states in Nigeria have yet to incorporate the Child’s Right Act into their legislation, out of the 36 states in the country.
Nigeria passed the Child Rights Act in 2003 to domesticate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Children’s Rights Act of 2003 extends to children the human rights guaranteed by Nigeria’s 1999 constitution (Ogunniyi,2018). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the world’s most widely acknowledged norm on children’s rights, has a comprehensive list of rights for children and young people under the age of 18. When Ireland ratified the Convention in 1992, it pledged to promote children’s rights. Children’s rights refer to their developmental and age-appropriate requirements, which vary as they get older.
Children’s Rights include:
Health, education, family life, play and entertainment, a sufficient standard of living, and protection from abuse and injury are all rights that children have and it is the right of every citizen and country to ensure that every child enjoy these rights (Owolabi, 2012). The Child’s Rights Act has yet to be domesticated in 11 states in northern Nigeria. There are no records of these state legislatures discussing or debating the Act. Other laws, including the constitution, have been claimed to be capable of protecting children.
As cited in (Oak Foundation, 2013) however, customs such as early marriage, female genital mutilation, and begging continue to affect children in those states. A child as defined earlier is a person under the age of 18 under the Child’s Rights Act and the African Children’s Charter. However, in Nigeria differnt laws define children in different ways and for different purposes and as such children who are supposed to enjoy the Child’s Right Act do not. This has led to both national and international uproar with different bodies and international organizations such as ECPAT International, Save the Children, UNICEF, International Bureau for Children’s Rights (IBCR), leading the campaign to promote the Child’s Right Act in Nigeria and the world as a whole, though world governments have their role to play.The government must lead the way in harmonizing the multiple definitions in accordance with international and regional legislation.
The major way these bodies campaign for the Child’s Right Act is through journalism. Journalists are very important in the Child’s Right Act campaign as they are the people which information can easily get across to and from as opined by( Boothby 2010). They are also of topmost priority because they are usually the first respondents whenever there is a case of child abuse or a violation of the Child’s Right Act. Thus their behaviour towards the CRA is very important.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
(Boothby2010) argues that Child abuse and exploitation instances have grown too common in the media to stay uncommon and newsworthy, according to a rising but worrying opinion in some media circles, this is because of the way most journalists present child abuse stories to the public. Many journalists believe that abuse tales no longer carry the shock that they once had. In order to achieve effect, new methods and approaches will be required to rethink the way child safety tales are propagated and packaged by the media(Oak Foundation 2013).
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the awareness and behaviour of journalists in the campaign for Child’s Right Act in Nigeria. Other points of consideration in this research are:
- Investigate the success of Child Rights Act awareness campaign in the Nigeria.
- Examine the ability of journalists to show or portray the Child Rights Act and its violation successfully
iii. Examine the level of involvement of journalists in the campaign for Child Rights Act.
- Examine the portrayal of Child Rights act and its abuses to the public by journalists
1.4 Research Questions
- Is the Child Rights Act awareness campaign in Nigeria successful?
- Have journalists been able to show or portray the Child Right’s Act and its violation successfully?
iii. Are journalists really involved in campaign for Child Right’s Act?
- How are journalists and media portraying Child Right’s Acts and its abuses to the public?
1.5 Significance Of The Study
This study will be of great benefit to the world of research as it will serve as a consolidation to other works of related topics. It will also serve as a point of reference to other research works and future studies.
Furthermore, this work will benefit the journalists, the organizations involved in the Child Rights Act and the entire world and will aid in the awareness and enactment of Child Rights act.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This study focuses on the awareness and behaviour of print journalists in the Pioneer Newspaper Company Uyo, in the campaign for Child Rights Acts in Nigeria. Selected journalists from this media house are participants in this research.
This study will also throw more light on the different campaigns international organizations involved in the Child’s Right Act are doing.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
This study is limited to investigations carried out only on print journalists and it is also limited due to the fact that it was carried out out in one print media house thus these results cannot be used by other media houses but can only be used as a reference.
Furthermore,this research is limited because it only focuses on journalists and no other group of people. The research being carried out in Uyo only also serves as a limitation and the result of this research cannot be used for other areas.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Campaign: It is defined as working in an organized and active way towards a particular goal, typically a political or social one.
Awareness: Knowledge or perception of a certain fact or situation
Behaviour: This is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others.
Ogunniyi, D ( 2018). “The Challenge of Domesticating Children’s Rights Treaties in Nigeria and Alternative Legal Avenues for Protecting Children”. Journal of African Law. 62: 447–470 – via Cambridge university press.
Oak Foundation ( 2013). “The Role of Media in Child Protection: Challenges and Opportunities in Uganda”.
Boothby, O( 2010). “Child Protection Rights; A Call to Order.
Owolabi, E. F. (2012). Child abuse and sustainable development in Nigeria.AfricanJoumal of Social Sciences Volume 2 .2: 108- 119.Retrieved November 10,2015 from www.sachajoumals.com