UN, Nigeria announce partnership to protect children in conflict

The United Nations Security Council is partnering with the Nigerian Government on evolving policies towards the protection of children in armed conflicts, a top official has said.

Dr Monilola Udoh, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, said while hosting the UN delegation that the Child Rights Act (CRA), has been domesticated in almost all the states of the federation.

“The attacks on schools during armed conflict started globally in 2009. In Nigeria, the major attacks began 2014-2015 in the North-East as the result of the activities of terrorist groups, which left so many children out of school.

“Government is commited to ensuring the general well-being of children and to ensure that our schools are safe and in pursuant to Section 15 of the Child Rights Act.

“This gives the child the right to free, compulsory and universal primary education. The Federal Government of Nigeria, through inter-agency collaboration, has taken necessary actions,” said the permanent secretary.

She said the federal government has developed training manuals on Safe School’s Declaration (SSD), several interventions towards children who are survivors of terror and violent extremism, especially in the humanitarian emergency.

“At present, eighty (80) of the ‘rescued Special Girls’ are in various tertiary institutions undergoing their studies,” she added.

Ms Cristian Munduate, Leader of the visiting delegation and UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, said the findings of the delegation would be presented to the UN security council in New York for further recommendation and action.

She said: “We will base our conclusions on UN verified information.”

Munduate therefore reiterated the commitment of the United Nations towards realisation of children’s rights and protection of children in arm conflicts.

Similarly, another member of the delegation, Mr Nicholas Martins, said:” We will keep supporting efforts that leads to the support of children’s rights.

“And we are working together to know how to strengthen your work together.”