Boko Haram insurgents have abducted at least 1,000 children in the north-east since 2013, according to UNICEF.
Speaking ahead of the 4-year anniversary of the kidnap of the Chibok schoolgirls in Borno, Mohamed Fall, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, also said about 2,295 teachers have so far been killed by the insurgents with more than 1,400 schools destroyed.
In 2014, Boko Haram fighters kidnapped 276 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno state.
Of that number, 163 are now free: 57 fled in the early days after their abduction, three more escaped later, and a Swiss-coached mediation secured 103.
While their arrival was being awaited, the insurgents abducted 110 students of Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, in February, and released them a month later, with the exception of Leah Sharibu and five others who died in captivity.
“The four-year anniversary of the Chibok abduction reminds us that children in northeastern Nigeria continue to come under attack at a shocking scale,” Fall said in a statement on UNICEF website.
“They are consistently targeted and exposed to brutal violence in their homes, schools and public places.”
UNICEF said the Dapchi abduction is the latest indication that “there are few safe spaces left for children in the north-east,” adding: “Not even schools are spared from violence.
“These repeated attacks against children in schools are unconscionable. Children have the right to education and protection, and the classroom must be a place where they are safe from harm.”
Fall added that UNICEF stands with the federal government in its commitment to make schools safer and more resilient to attack through the Safe schools initiative.
“UNICEF is appealing for an end to attacks on schools and all grave violations of children’s rights,” he said.