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1,680 Nigerian schoolchildren kidnapped in 10 years – UNICEF

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1,680 Nigerian schoolchildren kidnapped in 10 years – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), revealed that there has been a significant increase in attacks and abductions targeting Nigerian schoolchildren since the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping in Borno State a decade ago.

According to the ‘Minimum Standards for Safe Schools (MSSS) Monitoring Report’ presented by UNICEF Nigeria’s Chief of Education, Saadhna Panday-Soobrayan, only 37% of schools in 10 states have early warning systems to detect threats of such attacks.

The report highlighted the disturbing statistics of conflict-related violence affecting children, stating that over the past 10 years, more than 1,680 children have been abducted, 180 killed in school attacks, and 60 school staff kidnapped with 14 losing their lives. Additionally, there have been over 70 attacks on schools.

READ ALSO: 21 rescued Chibok girls returned with 34 children, 91 unaccounted for – Report

UNICEF emphasised that 90 schoolgirls remain in captivity, with another abduction occurring in Kaduna State in March. The organisation called on authorities to enhance efforts to protect vulnerable children and improve safety standards in schools.

UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate, stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of the crisis, emphasising that education is a fundamental right crucial for children’s futures and poverty alleviation.

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

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