The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that Islamic terror group Boko Haram has recruited about 2,000 children to join her ranks as child soldiers.
Speaking in Paris at a meeting of global leaders, Anthony Lake UNICEF Executive Director urged world players to do more to end the involvement of children in wars.
According to Lake, it was difficult to ascertain the number of children used and recruited, because of the unlawful nature of child recruitment.
“For instance, since 2013 an estimated 17,000 children have been recruited in South Sudan and up to 10,000 have been recruited in the Central African Republic (CAR).”
“Similarly, nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram, in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, last year alone, and there have been nearly 1,500 cases of child recruitment in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March 2015.We cannot give up the fight to end child recruitment”
The Paris Agreement helps with the release of child soldiers and their reintegration. Lake said that in spite of progress made in the area of ending global conflict more needs to be done.
There has also been progress: since it was adopted, the number of countries endorsing the Paris commitments has nearly doubled from 58 countries in 2007 to 105 at present, signalling an increasing global commitment to end the use of children in conflict.
Globally, more than 65,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups, including 20,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Nearly 9,000 in the Central African Republic; and over 1,600 children in Chad. But more needs to be done
It is also calling for increased resources to help reintegrate and educate children who have been released, and urgent action to protect internally displaced children, child refugees and migrants.
As long as children are still affected by the fighting, we cannot give up the fight for the children