Boko Haram-affiliated and splinter groups, including Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad and ISWAP, are listed in the annexes of the SG’s latest annual report on CAAC for all five “trigger” violations against children in Nigeria. In 2021, the UN verified the recruitment and use of 63 children (9 boys, 54 girls), the killing and maiming of 88 children (53 boys, 34 girls, one of unknown sex), sexual violence perpetrated against 53 girls, 15 attacks on schools and hospitals, the abduction of 211 children (115 boys, 96 girls), and 14 incidents of denial of humanitarian access. In addition, 45 boys were detained by Nigerian Security Forces for their alleged association with armed groups. Of those, all but two were released following UN advocacy; however, the UN was denied access to detention facilities and thus could not verify the number of children in detention. Of the children abducted, 122 escaped or were released, while 89 remain unaccounted for. The Security Council should:

  • Remind all parties that children affected by armed conflict should be treated primarily as victims, including those allegedly associated with armed groups designated as terrorist by the UN; their reintegration should be prioritized in line with international juvenile justice standards;
  • Urge the Government to immediately release children held in military detention, endorse and urgently implement a protocol to swiftly hand over children allegedly associated with armed groups to civilian child protection actors, and grant UN and independent monitors access to detention facilities;
  • Encourage strengthened accountability for perpetrators of grave violations, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, and support comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and age-appropriate response systems and services for child survivors of sexual violence and strengthened preventive measures.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – August 2022.


Following the listing of Boko Haram in the annexes of the UN Secretary-General’s 2014 annual report on children and armed conflict and the subsequent activation of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) in Nigeria, Watchlist provided support via its Partnerships Program to promote local civil society engagement. In coordination with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Watchlist provided a training of trainers to a group of human rights defenders from Northeastern Nigeria; the training included sessions on UN Security Council Resolution 1612, NGO engagement with the MRM, the six grave violations, and methodology for documenting child rights violations. In a subsequent pilot project, participants conducted their own trainings on monitoring and reporting grave violations for other civil society representatives in conflict-affected regions.


UN Action

Year listed: 2014
Action Plans signed: Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) action plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children (September 2017)
Sanctions Committee: No
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Nigeria: 20202017
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Nigeria: 2020; 2017

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Boko Haram b, d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,c,d,e
Civilian Joint Task Force ~ a a

a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children

d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children

~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.