Over 1,000 children abducted by bandits in 2021 – Group
Over 1,000 children have been abducted by bandits in the Northwest since January. Some have been rescued, while many of them remain in captivity.
Save the Children International disclosed this in a statement on Thursday the Media and Communication Manager, Kunle Olawoyin.
The organization urged the Federal and state governments of Nigeria to implement measures that will guarantee the safety of children in schools and other learning environments.
Olawoyin said: “As the world marks the second International Day to Protect Education from Attack, Save the Children is concerned about the persistent attack on schools, students and teachers in Nigeria.”
According to the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), between 2015-2019, there were 100 reported attacks on schools in Nigeria.
These attacks have been on the increase between 2020 and 2021, which led to the closure of many schools by the government.
From January to August, 2021, over 1000 children were abducted in Nigeria, with so many of them still in the hands of their abductors, they said.
In a recent Save the Children’s report, Build Forward Better, the DRC, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Mali, and Libya have education systems that are at ‘extreme risk’ while Syria and Yemen follow closely behind.
The new data, which is the first of its kind, follows recent Save the Children research, which found that on average, children in low-income countries have lost 66% more of their lifetime school days during the pandemic compared with their peers in well-off countries.
Mercy Gichuhi, Country Director, Save the Children International Nigeria, said, “For us, the 9th September, the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, is an important moment to raise awareness on the situation of education in conflict and some of our focus on the Safe Schools Declaration.”
“When education is under attack, a generation is attacked. Children, girls and women are more vulnerable at times of attack – putting them at a higher risk of trauma, fear, gender based violence, physical and sexual abuse.
Many children in such times will have no choice but to discontinue their education and some will never return back to school – with their childhood dream fading away.
”The organisation said “ in Nigeria, the number of out-of-school children, according to UNICEF, was 10.5million before the effects of the conflict, humanitarian crisis and COVID-19 pandemic were felt.
With the total or partial closure of schools in Zamfara, Katsina, Adamawa, Kaduna, Niger and other States due to kidnapping and abduction of school children, the number of children that would be prevented from accessing education in Nigeria could be on the increase.”