A new report has listed Nigeria among the 12 most dangerous countries for children in conflict.
The report which is by Save the Children International also listed Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, DRC, Mali, CAR, Iraq, South Sudan, and Sudan.
According to the report, which was released on Friday a total of 93,236 children have been killed or maimed in conflicts in the last 10 years.
The report also indicated that more than three million children are living in an area where violence had been raging for 18 years or more.
In the report Killed and Maimed: A Generation Of Violations Against Children In Conflict, Save the Children stated that over 4,400 times humanitarian organisations were denied access to children – six times as often as in 2018.
It also said 25 children, the equivalent of a classroom full of pupils, have been killed or injured on average every day.
Inger Ashing, the CEO of Save the Children International in the report, said, “The number of children recruited by armed forces rose by 639 in 2018 to 7,845 in 2019. Over 3,100 children were found to have been recruited in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone.
“Many were victims of airstrikes, shelling, landmines and other explosive weapons used in populated areas where families have been ripped apart and tens of thousands of children left dead or scarred for life.
“Last year alone, more than a third of the verified child casualties were caused by explosive weapons – with the number dramatically higher in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.”
In 2019 alone, some 426 million children according to the report lived in a conflict-affected area – a slight increase on the year before.
Also, 160 million children, the report revealed lived in a high-intensity conflict zone, also an increase compared to 2018.
The impact of explosive weapons on children is complex, Ashing said, robbing families of their hopes and their ability to access vital services, and often profoundly altering the direction of a child’s life.
The report launched on World Children’s Day is the fourth in a series entitled Stop the War on Children.
Ashing noted that it shines a spotlight on six grave violations committed against children in conflict zones.
“Over the past decade, more than 200,000 such violations were verified. The record was sadly broken in 2019, which saw 26,233 grave violations committed. The actual number is likely to be even higher as some violations, notably sexual abuse, are grossly underreported.
“Behind the stark numbers are countless stories of the child victims of war. Many are casualties of people blatantly disregarding international laws and standards, and governments turning a blind eye.
Yet several countries have made a conscious decision to keep selling arms to warring parties even where it was clear they were being used against children. This cannot go on.
“Save the Children International calls for states to endorse declaration on avoiding the use of explosive weapons in populated areas,” she said.