The United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed concern over the subjection of thousands of children in North-East Nigeria to grave violations of their rights. In a statement Friday, it lamented that nine years after 276 schoolgirls were abducted in the middle of the night from their dormitory in Chibok, 96 girls remained in captivity. “As recently as 7 April 2023, 80 children were reportedly abducted by militants in Zamfara State’s Tsafe Local Government Area according to local media,” the UN agency said.
“This reinforces the urgent need for action to protect children in Nigeria. Since 2014, there have been over 2,400 incidents of grave violations verified, affecting over 6,800 children in the north-east.”
It added that the most common violations were 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. “The impact of the conflict on education is alarming, with repercussions that will likely affect generations,” the statement said.
It cited a Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TCN) report, saying, between 2009 and 2022, around 2,295 teachers were reportedly killed in attacks and over 19,000 teachers were displaced. Also, more than 1,500 schools were said to have closed because of insecurity, and 910 schools were destroyed.