6,800 North-East children suffer consequences of conflict – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund says over 6,800 children living in the North-East have been subjected to grave violations of their rights.

In a press release on Friday, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, lamented the brutal consequences of conflict on children nine years after 276 schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok and 96 girls still in captivity.

She noted the impact of the conflict on education is alarming with repercussions likely to affect generations, stressing its “devastating reality”

She added that the recent abduction of 80 children in Zamfara State reinforces the urgent need for action to protect children in Nigeria.

She said, “The statistics are disturbing; the reality is devastating. It has been 9 years since the horrendous abduction of the Chibok girls, yet the nightmare continues as children are still being kidnapped, forcibly recruited, killed and injured– their futures torn away.”

“We cannot turn a blind eye to the suffering of Nigeria’s children. We must do everything in our power to ensure they grow up in safety, with access to education and the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

Explaining the devastating effect, Munduate said, “Since 2014, there have been over 2,400 incidents of grave violations verified, affecting over 6,800 children in the North-East.

“The most common violations are recruitment or use of children by armed groups with 700 verified cases, followed by abductions of children, with 693 incidents, and killing and maiming, with 675 incidents.”

“Between 2009 and 2022, around 2,295 teachers were reportedly killed in attacks, over 19,000 teachers were displaced, more than 1,500 schools closed because of insecurity, and 910 schools were destroyed.”

Speaking further, The UN body charged the government to rehabilitate all children encountered in the course of armed conflict or released from armed groups.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *