Chibok: 1,680 Nigerian schoolchildren abducted in 10 years – UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said attacks and abductions targeting Nigerian schoolchildren have surged since the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping in Borno State 10 years ago.

UNICEF, in a report released on Monday, said only 37% of schools in 10 states have early warning systems to detect threats of such attacks.

The report, titled ‘Minimum Standards for Safe Schools (MSSS) Monitoring Report’, presented by UNICEF Nigeria’s Chief of Education, Saadhna Panday-Soobrayan, noted the alarming statistics of conflict-related violence affecting children.

Over the past decade, more than 1,680 children have been abducted, 180 killed in school attacks, and 60 school staff kidnapped with 14 killed. Additionally, there have been more than 70 attacks on schools, the report said.

It emphasized that 90 abducted schoolgirls are still in captivity, and the country recently faced another abduction in Kaduna State in March.

UNICEF called on the authorities to intensify efforts to protect vulnerable children and improve safety standards in schools.

The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate, highlighted the need to address the root causes of the crisis, emphasizing that education is a fundamental right crucial for children’s futures and poverty alleviation.

The report analysed six result areas, including school systems, violence against children, natural hazards, conflicts, everyday hazards, and safe school infrastructure.

 

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