The United Nations (UN) says 532 children were subjected to inhumane treatment in terror ravaged Adamawa, Borno and Yobe from January 2020 to December 2021.
The UN said a total of 694 “grave violations” against the hapless children were recorded in the three beleaguered north east states.
The international organisation disclosed this in its third report of the UN secretary-general on children and armed conflict in Nigeria, released on Wednesday.
According to the report, a high percentage of the perpetrators were identified as members of the Boko Haram sect and other splinter groups, including the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad (JAS)
“From January 2020 to December 2021, the country task force verified 694 grave violations against 532 children (279 boys, 250 girls, 3 sex unknown) in the three conflict-affected states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa in north-east Nigeria,” the report reads.
“A total of 58 children were victims of multiple violations, including 14 children (12 boys, 2 girls) who were abducted and recruited and used, 42 girls who were victims of abduction, recruitment and use and sexual violence, and 2 girls who were raped and killed.
“The abduction of children remained a key concern in 2021, with the highest number of children verified as having been abducted (211) since 2014.
“Overall, 212 children were verified killed or maimed mainly by gunshots during crossfire, which represented 90 per cent of all child casualties. 70 children were verified as recruited and used, a violation often compounded by other grave violations such as abduction, sexual violence, or killing and maiming.”
According to the report, 63 girls endured sexual violence, with the UN describing such cases as “a violation always challenging to document and verify owing to the survivors’ fear of stigma and lack of access to some conflict-affected areas by the country task force”.