800, 000 Nigerian  Children Displaced By Boko Haram – UNICEF

BY SAMUEL MALIK, ABUJA

Around 800, 000 children have been forced to flee their homes as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the troubled north eastern region of Nigeria, a UNICEF report has said.

The report, Missing Childhoods, released on the eve of the anniversary of the abduction of more than 250 school girls from Chibok, Borno State, indicates that the number of children fleeing the insurgency and running to other parts of the country or crossing over to Chad, Niger and Cameroon had doubled in the last one year.

“The number of children forced from their homes has more than doubled in the past year, reaching 800,000 children,” says the report which adds that the conflict “is exacting a heavy toll on children, affecting not just their well-being and their safety but also their access to basic health, education and social services.”

In addition, children are being targeted and those kidnapped have been forced into doing chores, including being used as child soldiers.

“Children have become deliberate targets, often subjected to extreme violence – from sexual abuse and forced marriage to kidnappings and brutal killings,” the report says.

“(They) have also become weapons, made to fight alongside armed groups and at times used as human bombs, including a case of young girl sent to her death with a bomb strapped to her chest in Maiduguri.”






     

     

    According to the report, over 1.5 million people have fled their homes since 2009 when the sect intensified its attacks. More than 15, 000 people have died from the crisis, with more than 7, 000 in 2014 alone. So far, over 1, 000 people have been killed in 2015.

    “More than 1.5 million people have fled their homes due to the violence. This includes 1.2 million displaced inside Nigeria and around 200,000 who have crossed into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger after their villages were attacked or threatened,” it says.

    The conflict has also put serious strains on communities hosting these refugees and displaced persons, especially as most of the people in these places are poor and lack access to basic amenities.

    “The vast majority of the displaced – more than 880,000 – are staying with host communities with little access to humanitarian support, putting additional strains on already stretched health, education and social services,” the report says.

     

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement

    Recent

    - Advertisement