6,800 children face violations in the North-East, according to UNICEF

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

In a news release on Friday, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, bemoaned the cruel impact of conflict on children nine years after 276 schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok and 96 girls remaining in captivity.

She emphasized the conflict’s “devastating reality” on education, noting that the consequences are likely to harm future generations.

She also stated that the recent kidnapping of 80 children in Zamfara State highlights the critical need for Nigeria to take action to protect children.

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.”

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

“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.”

Furthermore, the UN committee mandated the government with rehabilitating all youngsters encountered during armed conflict or released from armed organizations.

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