UNICEF condemns in the strongest possible terms the reported abduction of some 100 school girls between 12 and 17 years old from their school hostel in Chibok Borno State on Monday night, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.
UNICEF is deeply concerned about the persistent trend of attacks on schools in Nigeria. Most recently, unidentified gunmen killed 53 children between 13 and 17 years old at the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, in February.
Such brutal acts of violence are unacceptable. Attacks on schools deny children their right to learn in a safe environment and can rob them of their future. Wherever it takes place, abduction of children is a crime and illegal under international law.
Monday night’s attack on the Chibok school took place hours after over 70 people were killed in a bomb attack at a bus station in the Nyanyan neighbourhood, close to the capital, Abuja.
UNICEF expresses its deepest solidarity to all the communities affected by these horrific acts, and stands with the families of the abducted children in these difficult times. The agency calls for greater efforts to protect all children throughout Nigeria.
The Nigerian government should urgently take steps to make sure that the children are returned to their families unharmed and that they can continue their education in a safe environment.
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UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, working in over 190 countries to help every child realise their full potential. We work with partners to transform the lives of children everywhere. UNICEF provides health care, water, nutrition, education and protection for children. The most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are our priority. As champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we work to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk