Child Bride: Canada Wants Concrete Plan From Nigeria

christopher-thornley-canadian-high-commissioner-in-nigeriaThe Canadian government is appealing to the Nigerian government to come out with concrete plans to end what it described as huge burden of child bride on Nigeria.

Canadian High Commissioner, Mr Christopher Thornley, made the appeal on Friday at a meeting held to discuss more efforts needed to end child marriage.

According to him, two in every five girls in Africa are given in marriage before they attain age 19 and Nigeria has the highest record of such marriages.

“In Africa, two out of five girls are married before the age of 19. In Nigeria, I’m sorry to say this, but I’m also very heartened that we see people here, like yourselves, who are addressing the issue.

“In Nigeria there are more child brides than in any other country. Part of that is that Nigeria is such a huge country. Absolutely the numbers will be high, but there are massive numbers of young girls being married in this country as children,” he told the gathering of government officials, representatives of different organisations and right activists.

He said that the African Union (AU) campaign to end child marriage was raising awareness and accelerating change.

“Nigeria has signed on to this campaign and we are working with the government in support of its work to end child marriage.

“There is a national strategy that will be launched next week and I know that this meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the elements of that strategy and if any of you is feeding into that, please go back to what I said about the age 18 definition.

“It is very important that that be embedded in the strategy and there is resistance in Nigeria to that, as you know.

“It is not enough to have a strategy, concrete action must be taken to put plans into actions and to accomplish concrete results,” he added.

Canada Seeks Partnership With Nigeria To Address Child Marriage

child-female-girlThe Canadian government is seeking a stronger partnership with the Nigerian government to reduce the burden of child marriage in Africa’s most populous nation.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Christopher Thornley, who spoke at a forum in Abuja on the growing international concern about child marriage, pointed out that Nigeria had more cases of child brides in sub-Saharan Africa.

He also explained the commitment of the Canadian government to assisting Nigeria’s efforts at reducing the burden of child marriage.

When the Child Rights Act was passed into law in 2003, many people celebrated it as a law that would finally put the issues of child marriage to rest because it puts the minimum age of marriage at 18.

Almost 13 years after, the burden of child bride is still heavy on Nigeria, as statistics from the Canadian government reveal.

At a photo exhibition by the Canadian High Commission in Abuja, the burden of child marriage was highlight as a global issue, with focus on what could be done to end it.

At the event was a teenager who was a victim of child marriage in Zamfara State, northwest Nigeria.

She dropped out of primary school at 12, the same year she was married off.

This situation is what the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria said his country was trying to address and reduce the burden on Nigeria.

For the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, the problem is endemic in some states despite the existing federal laws that protected the child rights.

She, however, assured the Canadian government of Nigeria’s efforts to ensure that states domesticate laws that would protect the girl child rights.

Statistics by the Canadian government reveals that over 15 million girls are married every year before they turn 18, an alarming figure that the Sustainable Development Goals hope to reduce by the year 2030.

Canada Slows Down Syrian Refugee Intake

Refugee--canadaThe Canadian Government says it will resettle only 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015, less than half the number it promised earlier.

But it says it is still committed to bringing in another 15,000 refugees from Syria by the end of February.

Canada had previously promised to take in 25,000 by the year’s end.

Those who will be considered refugees include families, women at risk, and gay men and women.

Earlier reports suggest that the Federal Government would limit the resettlement to women, children and families only.

The newly elected Liberal government had, during the election campaign, committed itself to bringing refugees in.