The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has released statistics on the number of children recruited into, or directed affected by non-state armed groups like Boko Haram and its splinter group ISIS West Africa Province (ISWAP). The report was released on the anniversary of the Chibok girls’ abduction. The girls were abducted on April 14, 2014.
According to UNICEF, between 2013 and 2017, over 3,500 children were recruited and used by the terror groups with the likelihood of the number being higher seeing as the figures released are of verified cases alone. In addition to the number mentioned above, 432 children were killed and maimed, 180 were abducted, and 43 girls were sexually abused in north-east Nigeria in 2018.
Since 2012, non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children. The abducted children range between 13 years and 17 years of age and just like the over 100 Chibok girls still missing.