UNICEF worries over children in armed conflicts
UNITED Nations Children’s Fund ((UNICEF) has raised the alarm over continued exploitation of children, worldwide, by armed actors, with many remaining unidentified and unreported, particularly girls.
UNICEF, in a statement made available to newsmen in Calabar, yesterday, to mark the yearly ‘Red Hand Day’, a day dedicated to raising awareness and strengthening efforts to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts in the world.
The statement reads: “In Nigeria, there have been numerous reports of children being recruited and used by armed groups, with devastating consequences on their physical and psychological well-being.
“The Nigerian government, in collaboration with the international community, has made considerable progress in improving legal and policy frameworks to protect children associated with armed actors.
“Red Hand Day is an important reminder of the ongoing challenge to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts,” said Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
He applauded Nigeria for the signing the Handover Protocol for children encountered in the course of armed conflict in the country and the Lake Chad Basin Region, saying: This moment is also another opportunity for the Federal Government of Nigeria to endorse the Paris commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups and the Paris principles and guidelines on children associated with armed forces or armed groups.”