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Report of the Secretary-General on Children and armed conflict in Nigeria (S/2020/652)

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The present report, which covers the period from January 2017 to December 2019, is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict. It is the second report of the SecretaryGeneral on the situation in Nigeria and contains information on the impact of armed conflict on children during the period.

The report is focused on the three conflict-affected states in north-east Nigeria, namely Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Highlighted herein are grave violations against children committed by parties to the conflict, including Boko Haram, the Civilian Joint Task Force and the Nigerian Security Forces. Grave violations in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and the Niger are also reflected in the context of the spillover of Boko Haram’s activities beyond the borders of Nigeria.

It is noted in the report that the highly volatile and rapidly evolving security situation in north-east Nigeria often resulted in limited access for the United Nations, hindering the ability to verify violations. However, trends are presented and information is provided in the report on verified violations, including a large number of children recruited and used by the Civilian Joint Task Force in previous years, as well as on sexual violence, abduction and the use of children, especially girls, as carriers of improvised explosive devices by Boko Haram. The detention of children for their alleged association with Boko Haram is also highlighted as an issue of concern.

The report contains recommendations to end and prevent grave violations in Nigeria and improve the protection of children.