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Banditry Sexual Abuse Exploitation Thrives in Nigeria’s IDP Camps with No Recourse for Victims

The UNICEF has recently revealed incidences of sexual violence against children in some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Benue State. The findings were made…

The UNICEF has recently revealed incidences of sexual violence against children in some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Benue State.

The findings were made known that the organisation distributed palliatives to thousands of IDPs, mainly children, and their caregivers, in three camps of Guma LGA of the state.

Despite the government’s vow to end insecurity for nearly a decade, clashes between farmers and herders have only escalated in Nigeria’s middle belt region, especially in Benue:

According to the Christian Aid Emergency Humanitarian Relief Fund, Benue alone has more than 50,000 IDPs from attacks, which have led to the loss of almost 1,000 lives.

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) compiled a total of 5,623 incidents involving child abuse and other sexual and gender-based violence from January 2018 to July 2022 for Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states.

There is an urgent need to establish a safe space free of sexual exploitation and abuse in these camps by making it part of every aid worker’s job to look out for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by intervening when necessary. Education for internally displaced people is also a necessity. The implication of not being educated is that children/women do not have access to knowing their rights or defending these rights and reporting exploitation. It is also vital to enhance IDPs ‘ sensitisation and understanding of sexual abuse and exploitation and how to report such crimes to the proper authorities. Furthermore, victims and witnesses must be protected at all times, especially during investigations.

 

Abdullahi Adamu sent this piece via [email protected]

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