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Missing Childhoods - the Theft of Innocence in Nigeria

The United Nations Children's Fund(UNICEF) issued a stark report yesterday on the state of children in militant-ravished parts of Nigeria, where one year-ago, 300 girls were kidnapped from their school by militants. The report declared that children make up more than half of Nigeria's 1.5 million displaced people from Boko Haram's Islamic insurgency.

That another 800,000 of the world's children, have been forced from their homes because of conflict, is a sad and dire testament of the times in this modern era and of the impotency and of the failure of international organizations to successfully protect the most vulnerable and innocent of all victims. 

Thus, hundreds of thousands of Africa's children have now joined thousands killed and millions displaced in the Levant, as victims of conflicts to which they are not willing parties. Moreover, the numbers of effected children from conflicts could rise exponentially as another crises deepens in Yemen, as the Ukraine conflict returns hot, as Somali militants seek to taunt civility, as the Islamic State(IS) continues its wrath upon the Levant, and as Bashar al Assad retains the reins of power in Damascus.

With regards to Nigeria's 800,000 displaced children, the UN report revealed that some "Children have become deliberate targets, often subjected to extreme violence - from sexual abuse and forced marriage to kidnappings and brutal killings," the Associated Press(AP) reported.

The report added: "Children have also become weapons, made to fight alongside armed groups and at times used as human bombs."

Boko Haram has deliberately targeted schools in Nigeria. It has destroyed or severely damaged 300 schools and killed at least 314 pupils and 196 teachers as well as kidnapped hundreds of children, including 300 girls a year ago, of which 219 still remain missing, the AP reported.

Therefore, with growing numbers of children missing their childhoods and having their innocence stolen in Africa, in the Middle East, in Europe and in Asia, it becomes even more resoundingly imperative for the international community, especially the stalwarts of democracy, of equal rights and of the rule of law, to re-intensify all efforts and protections to safeguard the welfare of the world's children.