Boko Haram: UNICEF Highlights How The World Failed Children In 2018
2018 is few days away from its end and report cards of how nations performed in the year are flying in.
One of such reports has been released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and it is about how children were treated in 2018.
The UN agency entitled its report ‘How the world failed children in conflict in 2018’ and it said the world failed to protect children in conflict in Nigeria and 14 other countries.
Children and women are the most affected in the over nine years insurgency in the northeast area of Nigeria perpetrated by Boko Haram.
UNICEF accused Boko Haram terrorists’ factions of carrying out grave atrocities against children in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region over the course of 2018.
It said the future of millions of children living in Nigeria and other countries affected by armed conflict were at risk, as warring parties continued to commit grave violations against children, and world leaders failed to hold perpetrators accountable.
According to the report, the other countries where children have been violated are Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo,?Iraq, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Myanmar, Palestine, South Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.
UNICEF highlighted that children living in countries at war had come under direct attack, had been used as human shields, killed, maimed or recruited to fight.
The UN children agency said rape, forced marriage and abduction had become standard tactics employed by the mainstream Boko Haram terrorists and the factional Islamic State West Africa Province.
"In northeast Nigeria, armed groups, including Boko Haram factions, continue to target girls, who are raped, forced to become wives of fighters or used as ‘human bombs’.
“In February, the group abducted 110 girls and one boy from a technical college in Dapchi, Yobe State.
“While most of the children have since been released, five girls died and one is still being held captive as a slave,"UNICEF said.
In the Lake Chad basin, ongoing conflict, displacement and attacks on schools, teachers and other education facilities have put the education of 3.5 million children at risk, UNICEF said.
“Today in northeast Nigeria, the Lake region of Chad, extreme north of Cameroon and Diffa region of Niger, at least 1,041 schools are closed or non-functional due to violence, fear of attacks, or unrest, affecting nearly 445,000 children.”
Across all these countries, UNICEF said it worked with partners to provide the most vulnerable children with health, nutrition, education and child protection services.
“For example, in October, UNICEF helped to secure the release of 833 children recruited into armed forces in northeast Nigeria, and is working with partners to reintegrate them into their communities,” it said.
UNICEF called on warring parties to abide by their obligations under international law to immediately end violations against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and water infrastructure.
UNICEF also called on states with influence over parties to conflict to use that influence to protect children.
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