Since the abduction of about 276 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram, over 1,500 school children have been kidnapped by armed groups in Nigeria.
This is according to an investigation by the human rights group, Amnesty International.
“Nigerian is failing to protect vulnerable children. By refusing to respond to alerts of impending attacks on schools across the north of the country, the Nigerian authorities have failed to prevent mass abductions of thousands of school children,” Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho.
A statement by the organisation on Thursday faulted Nigerian authorities for failing to learn from the Chibok incident and preventing further crimes.
“In all cases, the Nigerian authorities have remained shockingly unwilling to investigate these attacks or to ensure that the perpetrators of these callous crimes face justice. Every fresh attack is followed by further abductions that deprive school children of their right to liberty — and leave victims’ families with no hope of accessing justice, truth, or reparations,” Ojigho said.
“The Nigerian authorities must urgently comply with the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to which it is a state party. They must take concrete steps to prevent the abduction of children and ensure that those suspected of criminal responsibility face justice in fair trials and rescue the hundreds of children who remain in captivity.”
According to Amnesty International, the attacks on schools have triggered a shutdown of many learning institutions.
“As a result, affected regions have seen a decline in school enrollment and attendance, as well as a rise in child marriage and pregnancies of school-age girls,” the statement added.