The National Coordinator, National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), on behalf of the NSA, AIG Nuhu Ribadu (rtd) received the United Nations Security Council working Group on Children and Armed Conflict under the Chairmanship of the Republic of Malta, on a working visit to the Office on Tuesday, 11 July, 2023.
The group led by Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations, MS Vanessa Frazier was in ONSA to learn the Nigerian Government’s Counter Terrorism efforts in relation to the children.
MS Frazier thanked the Office of the National Security Adviser for ensuring the signing of the Handover Protocol for Children in September, 2022. The Handover Protocol is a practical tool to prevent or reduce the detention of children encountered by military and security forces during armed conflict and presents an opportunity to identify and transfer children allegedly associated with armed groups within a period of seven days to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
She assured of the continued support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for Nigeria in addressing the challenges confronting the vulnerable children particularly those associated with armed conflicts in the country.
In his welcome remarks, the National Coordinator, NCTC, Rear Admiral YEM Musa (rtd) noted that Nigeria recognised that children constitute the most vulnerable population in the country and so it had put several measures in place to addressing their challenges, among which was the Child’s Rights Act (2003).
According to him, the Government of Nigeria would continue to work with the UN, particularly UNICEF in ensuring that children allegedly associated with armed groups receive appropriate, tailored social and economic reintegration assistance that support the children’s, families’, and communities’ resilience and social cohesion through child protection, education, psychosocial support, and livelihood initiatives, vocational and skills development and life skills.