16 OCTOBER 2020
Plan International Nigeria’s teen rights campaigner, Favour, recently took control of the Swedish embassy in Nigeria for a day to advocate for child rights, especially girls’ rights to an education, and protection.
The symbolic takeover was in commemoration of the 2020 International Day of the Girl, a United Nations sanctioned day to advocate for the rights of the girl child globally.
“I have met several children who have been sexually violated,” Favour said.
“Some are pregnant, they do not have the basis on how to take care of their children and they do not have the support on how to take care of their needs,” she said in her capacity as ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria.
A recent study by Plan International on hate and abuse against women and girls online shows that 68% of girls and young women reported that they have experienced some form of online harassment on social media platforms in Nigeria. The study was conducted in 22 countries.
She said: “My mother died during pregnancy, so I can feel what they are going through. I know so many children, getting raped and getting pregnant.”
Thirteen year old Favour called on the federal government of Nigeria to encourage the 36 states of the country to domesticate the child rights laws as an instrument of protection of children especially girls from abuse and rape.
Favour is the teenage champion adopted this year for the #GirlsTakeOver by Plan International Nigeria to mark the International Day of the Girl Child.
“The government should help in educating the girl child, give them the right to speak out when being violated, allow them to speak out,” Favour emphasised.
The Head of Administration at the Swedish Embassy, Linda Pendersen, who stood in for the ambassador H. E. Carl-Michael Gräns, before the symbolic takeover said Sweden became the first country in the world to launch a feminist foreign policy in October 2014.
“I’d like to take opportunity to show strong support for the girls take over campaign and Plan International with gender equality and girls’ rights,” the Swedish envoy said.