A Legal Appraisal of the Rights of Children and the War against Terrorism in Nigeria
Keywords:Child, Human Rights, Terrorism, Nigeria
In armed conflicts, pregnant women, children, immune-compromised and elderly are the greatest
victims. The fight against terrorism in Nigeria has caused grave humanitarian crisis with attacks
on civilian population in the epicentre of the insurgency. The parties in the armed conflict have
defied human rights and the principles guiding the conduct of war under International
Humanitarian Law. A direct result of the terrorism war is death, rape, displacement and carnage.
The Nigerian child is the highest casualty of the war – killed, survivors denied education, abducted
and used as child soldiers, enslaved, sexually assaulted and married to fighters against their will.
Government has budgeted billions of dollars on the spiralling insurgency with no end in sight. The
paper addressed the rights of the child and interrogated the laws and institutions under Nigerian
law for the protection of the child in armed conflicts. This paper adopted the doctrinal research
methodology. The study is structured into six parts covering introductory issues, conceptual
framework, legal and institutional framework, defending the rights of the child in the terror war
in Nigeria and concluding remarks. The paper found a lack of willingness on some states to enact
appropriate laws and policies to defend the rights of the child in Nigeria and recommended strict
implementation of existing laws relating to rights of child by building virile institutions.