FACTORS AFFECTING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LAWS ON CHILD ABUSE IN NIGERIA
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1.1 General Introduction
This chapter will be an eye opener to the menace of child abuse in Nigeria. This chapter will also activate the understanding of child abuse in its diversity. However, in recent times teenagers have been exposed to all forms of mal-treatment by parents and caregivers. Some children are denied food, clothing, shelter, medical care, right to formal education and even right to freedom of speech. Many children are driven away from home, and many more are overworked in hard labor, carrying heavy loads on their head and backs, pushing trucks and wheel-barrows along the streets and markets places. Many of them carry goods on their heads and hawk along the streets and markets places. Some work in other people’s houses as their house help, babysitters, cooks, and gardeners; many children are abused physically, emotionally and sexually . These different mal-treatments could influence the way teenagers carry out certain activities. In the school system some teenagers take active part in the school activities while some are weak, slow and withdrawn from such school activities. Some teenagers are been neglected, abused and denied parental and basic needs .
Child abuse is any act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, and sexual abuse or exploitation . In Nigeria, abuse against children is rampant although it is largely under-reported. Under-reporting stems from cultural justification of certain forms of abuse associated with cultural practices and the reluctance of children to speak about prior abusive experiences. Fear of their assailants’ threats or their parent’s reaction may be the cause of this reluctance. Also, some children may be either too young to understand their experience or unable to speak for themselves.
On the other hand, several legal provisions which seek to protect children have been enacted internationally and within Nigeria. However, these laws have not served as an effective tool in curbing the menace of child abuse, as originally intended. The purpose of enacting laws is to prevent a certain problem and decrease the frequency of its occurrence. When these laws are not effective, the purpose is defeated.
 Adams Odunayo “Travails of Nigerian Women Prostitutes in Italy” Naija.com, available at http://www.naij.com/346157-photos-travails-of-nigerian-women-prostitutes-in-italy.html accessed on 20/12/2014
 Alkali, M.B. A Critique of the Provisions on Adoption Under the Child’s Rights Act 2003 from Islamic Perspective, (2012), Bayero University Journal of Public Law. Vol. 2, No. 2, P50.
 see child abuse prevention and treatment act of 2003, the encyclopedia of child abuse, at xii (3d ed. 2007).