According to UNICEF “Missing Childhood” report, approximately 800,000 minors are the victims of Boko Haram violence. The highlight of the report is the capture of 276 Chibok girls, who are reported to be Christians. Most of these girls are still reported to be missing and over 1.5 million people have been forced to flee home.
Tragedies like these continue to replicate them selves at a massive scale in Nigeria. Scores of other school children have gone missing. Parents have lost the hope of ever reuniting with them. After surveying more than 33 locations, UNICEF found 2400 separated children who had been forced to flee their homes. They were unaccompanied and had walked for days at a stretch to reach safety. Many had to run for their lives.
Moreover, these children have been exposed to extensive abuse and violence. It is also reported that more than 1.5 million people have fled homes and at lest 15000 people have died since 2009, when Boko Haram stepped up their violence. Numerous have been displaced, not once but several times.
To add to the misery, villagers told UNICEF that children are literally hunted by Boko Haram village after village and they have seen their parents or brothers and sisters abducted in front of their own eyes. Many of these children are so traumatized that they can not sleep, eat or speak normally. They are deliberate targets, facing forced marriage, sexual abuse and brutal killing.
The U.N. human rights chief warned this month that the Islamist extremist group was using children as “expendable cannon fodder” and “human bombs.”