Nigeria is among four countries that children, especially girls were used to fight in conflicts.

In at least 18 conflicts that ravaged the world since 2016, children were used including as ‘human bombs’, despite a global ban on the use of children in war.

Child soldiers were used in Syria, Libya, Nigeria and Colombia - all of which have ratified a United Nations treaty outlawing the conscription of under 18s and their participation in hostilities, the campaign group behind the report said on Wednesday.

“The systematic abuse of child rights continues unabated in many places around the world,” UK-based Child Soldiers International said in a statement.

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“The use of children, including large numbers of girls, as ‘human bombs’ is one alarming new trend.”

More than 115,000 child soldiers have been freed since 2000, but tens of thousands continue to be exploited, it said.

Nigeria’s appearance in the list is not entirely surprising. Child suicide bombings by Boko Haram militants have surged in northeast Nigeria, where an insurgency is in its ninth year.

Child recruitment has also been documented in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Yemen, the first online database on child soldiers showed.

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