UNICEF calls for an end to abduction of school children  

UNICEF calls for an end to abduction of school children  

UNICEF Nigeria Representative Peter Hawkins today condemned the abduction of 344 school children who were released yesterday describing the act as a “cruel disregard for humanity” which must come to an end.

In a statement, released in Abuja, Hawkins said attacks on educational facilities are a grave violation of children’s rights.

“This incident is a disturbing reminder of the heavy toll that violence takes on civilians in north-west Nigeria, including children.

“Last Friday’s attack, directly targeting children in the middle of the night, in a place where they should feel safe, was an outrage. Schools should be safe. Children should never be the target of attack – and yet, far too often in Nigeria, they are precisely that – victims of attacks on their schools.

“Such attacks deprive children of the right to an education. They make children fearful of going to the classroom, and parents afraid to send their children to school. Schools must be safe places to study and develop, and learning cannot become a perilous endeavor.

“Interventions must be put in place to ensure that schools are safe, and that all Nigerian children can learn without fear. These interventions should take into account the important role that communities can play in ensuring the safety of schools, including through support for school-based management committees (SBMCs).

“No cause justifies attacks against children and schools. Such cruel disregard for humanity must come to an end,” he said.

The UNICEF boss expressed his solidarity with the children, their families and the Kankara community – “who have endured an unimaginable ordeal this past week.”

 

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