CHILD: According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is anyone under the age of 18.
ABUSE: Abuse is the deliberate act or series of actions which lead to harm. This includes, but is not limited to, verbal, physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse.
CHILD PROTECTION: Child protection is the set of actions implemented when a child is identified as being at risk of being harmed, abused, neglected or exploited. It should be seen as an element of child safeguarding.
CHILD SAFEGUARDING: Child safeguarding is the set of actions, measures and procedures taken to ensure that all children are kept safe from harm, abuse, neglect or exploitation whilst in care. Safeguarding is about creating safe environments for all.
HARM: Harm refers to a negative impact on an individual’s physical, emotional or behavioural health and well-being. Violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation often lead to an individual being harmed.
COMPLAINANT: This is the term used to describe a person who has made an allegation of abuse. RESPONDENT: This term is used for the person about whom child/vulnerable person protection suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations have been made.
STATUTORY AUTHORITIES: Include police, child protection agencies, civil rights group.
VULNERABLE PERSON: A person who is 18 years of age or over, and who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself, or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.
PAEDOPHILIA: The word Paedophilia comes from the Greek :(paîs, paidós), meaning “child”, and (philía), “friendly love” or “friendship”. It is used for individuals with a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children aged 13 or younger. Infantophilia is a sub-type of paedophilia; it is used to refer to a sexual preference for infants and toddlers (under age 5).
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM): Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in Nigeria and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.
CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION: Child Sexual Exploitation is child abuse. It involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result in engaging in sexual activities.
CME: CHILD MISSING FROM EDUCATION: All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area.
• Okusaga Raphael works with St. Patrick’s Missionary society as Child safeguarding officer, District of West Africa, Maryland, Lagos.