Nigeria’s 9 Year-old Child Rights Activist, Halima Onyekehi Shines at Commonwealth Women’s Forum in Rwanda


Poised in the advocacy for the African children, nine year-old Halima Onyekehi, a Child Rights Activist and Public Speaker is taking on the rostrum of global events to intercede for the children, especially the girl child suffering molestation and all forms of abuse. 

Onyekehi was one of the highlights of the 2022 Commonwealth Women’s Forum in Kigali, Rwanda where she delivered a speech as the youngest speaker of the event which had global Women Speakers and Leaders from across the world. 

Halima Onyekehi

In her speech, she highlighted the problems affecting the African children, hence the need for her to stand in the gap to speak against molestation, poverty and abuse. 

“Everyday, one out of ten African Children is being molested out there and has no voice to speak out. For over two years ago, I took it upon myself to be the voice of the silent majority of children that are molested and abused without getting justice.

“We all need to stand against Child Molestation because every single child molested out there has lost the right to life, the right to education, and also the right to safety.

“Do you know that a child that is molested has lost trust in adults? They will be depressed, and it will be difficult for them to reach their potentials.

“Their growing up will be traumatized. This is why we all need to come together and put an end to this menace of Child Molestation in Africa and all over the world.

“Imagine having to live with fear every single day of your life as a child, imagine being a child whose biggest fear is whether or not he or she is save in her immediate home, in school, and in the community.

These problems according to her, inspired her first book publication titled “Child Abuse and what you need to know.”

Onyekehi, speaking for over two years, is a TedX Child Speaker, and in 2021 conferred as a United Nations Noble Ambassador for Peace. 

In the context of impacting the world, she is Ray Smith’s Magnolia that bloomed from Kogi State in Nigeria. 

In the words of Smith, “she was part of a group that helped tilt the world just a tiny bit the right way. Yes, she, one tiny person, was part of it. Hardly noticeable, true, but ‘hardly’ was more than nothing. ‘Hardly’ made all the difference in the world in how she saw herself.” 

Earlier, the Commonwealth Women’s Forum began with a call from Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland QC to unleash the potential of all women and girls in the Commonwealth

Speaking at the Opening Session of the Women’s Forum, Scotland noted that women and girls had been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 from vaccine inequity to economic insecurity and rising gender-based violence,” she said.

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