On 4 September 2014, Watchlist launched its new research report “Who Will Care for US?” Grave Violations against Children in Northeastern Nigeria at the United Nations. From March to May 2014, Watchlist gathered information on the grave violations from IDPs and refugees fleeing the states of emergency in Nigeria, as well as child survivors who were referred by NGOs and human rights defenders. The report details three key violations – attacks on schools, abductions, recruitment and use of children – and presents recommendations for enhanced child protection by the relevant stakeholders.
“Who Will Care for Us?” was launched just a few days ahead of the Security Council’s Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict where the Secretary-General’s 13th annual report on children and armed conflict was presented, listing Boko Haram on the UN’s ‘list of shame’ for committing grave violations. The report discusses the abuses by Boko Haram, as well as other parties to the conflict, shedding light on the experience of children affected by conflict in northeast Nigeria. The report was officially launched at a UN Press Conference, preceded by a special preview event for the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, and followed by presentations at the Group of Friends meeting hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN, and a breakfast event hosted by World Vision for the wider UN-NGO community working on child protection issues.
“Who Will Care for Us?” has already prompted conversations regarding under-reported issues Watchlist raised in the report among the broader policy community, and specifically galvanized support for the issue of the still missing Chibok girls through participation of Watchlist’s civil society partner from Nigeria present during the launch week in New York that works on the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign. The report was mentioned in articles written by The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times, and furthermore discussed in interviews on NPR, Voice of America and BBC Radio.