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Over 12m children traumatized, afraid to go to school, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that repeated attacks on educational facilities and kidnappings of students and teachers have traumatized and terrified more than 12 million youngsters, particularly girls, who are scared to attend to school. In a Children’s Manifesto released yesterday, children made a range of demands to world leaders, including denying troops access to schools and ensuring that roads to schools are clear of explosives.

The manifesto, which was written by 300 students from ten nations, was released as world leaders gathered in Abuja for the fourth International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration, which is being hosted for the first time in Africa.

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The Safe Schools Declaration protocol has 112 signatories, with Nigeria being one of the first 37 member nations of the United Nations (UN) to endorse it in 2015.
The Declaration is a political commitment made by governments around the world to safeguard students, teachers, schools, and universities from the worst effects of armed conflict.

The Children’s Manifesto provides a bleak image of how children are subjected to threats and violence at school, focusing on the acute terror that children experience as a result of these attacks.

 

“Youngsters are afraid when military come to schools, arrest children, shoot live or rubber bullets at them, and when tear gas is used,” the children said in the Manifesto.

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