Boko Haram continues to abduct children in Nigeria, says a new report

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Lucian Read/WorldPictureNews (NICA ID: 546761)

Children in north-eastern Nigeria continue to suffer at the hands of the Boko Haram militant Islamist organization, according to a new report launched at the United Nations on Thursday.

The report has been compiled by Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, a network of international non-governmental organizations striving to protect children in war zones.

Janine Morna, author of the report, spent six weeks in Nigeria between March and May this year where she interviewed 156 people.

She said of particular concern to Watchlist is the recruitment and use of children by Boko Haram and armed self defence militias who operate in north-eastern Nigeria.

"Boko Haram abducts boys and girls and in particular forces boys to join their ranks or face death. Sometimes the group pressures families to have their children join Boko Haram and in one case documented by Watchlist, a 13 year old who refused to join had two of his family members killed. In other cases the group incentivises disaffected, unemployed youth in Borno State and other areas of the northeast to join for money. In recent months there has been a disturbing uptake in the participation of girls in attacks by Boko Haram." (27")

Janine Morna said the impact of Boko Haram activities has had a negative impact on education in north-eastern Nigeria with a number of schools closed.

She pointed out that since the abduction of over 270 schoolgirls from a school in Chibok in April this year, people are now aware of this problem but abductions had occurred even before that incident.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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