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Nigeria ranked among 11 ‘most dangerous’ countries for children

Jemilat Nasiru

Save the Children International, a non-governmental organisation focused on child rights, has listed Nigeria among the 11 most dangerous countries for children to live in.

The estimate is contained in a report titled ‘Killed and Maimed: A Generation of Violations Against Children in Conflict’, released on Friday.

The report, launched on World Children’s Day celebrated every November 20, is the fourth in a series entitled “Stop the War on Children”.

Other countries listed as unsafe are Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali, Central African Republic (CAR), Iraq, South Sudan, and Sudan.


According to the report, a total of 93,236 children have been killed or maimed in conflicts in the last 10 years — “an average of 25 children per day and the equivalent of a classroom full of pupils”.

It, however, noted that some of the greatest decreases in child casualties were in Nigeria and bordering regions in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, adding that in the affected countries, “there was a large drop from 432 in 2018 to 239 in 2019.”

The report further stated that in 2019, about 426 million children lived in a conflict-affected area, and “incidents of humanitarian access being denied to children were almost six times higher in 2019 than 2018 – up from 795 to 4,402.”


“This is by far the highest number ever recorded, and almost three times higher than the previous peak of 1,579 in 2017. The majority of incidents were perpetrated by non-state armed actors. However, bureaucratic barriers and denials – which are not included in these figures – are routinely imposed by states,” it read.

Commenting on the report, Paul Ronalds, CEO of Save the Children Australia, called for more efforts to ensure safety for children across the world.

“Never in human history have we been more aware of child rights violations – bombings are verified, recruitment is documented and we see children starving on TV as they are denied aid. We have the means to prevent children from being harmed but we continue to see unbelievable violations, year on year. It is as if the world has stopped caring,” Ronalds said.

“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.

“This weekend, the world’s richest and most powerful leaders gather in Saudi Arabia for the G20 summit in Riyadh. A day’s drive away, millions of vulnerable children in Yemen don’t know where their next meal will come from or if they will survive the next airstrike or artillery shelling. This is an opportunity for world leaders to use their influence and their voice to make the right choice, and to stop the war on children.”

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