Respect for Human Rights

Human rights activist, Mr. Richard Akinola, has said it is illegal to use under-age school children as civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) in the fight against terrorism in the north-east.

He called on the Federal Government to have a media awareness to dissuade parents and people who surrender their school-age children in armed conflicts.

Akinola, who is also the Director, Media Law Centre, said this at a two-day training on human rights reporting and accountability for reporters in Abuja.

The training was organised by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWRP).

“There are international and domestic laws against the use of child soldiers, trafficking, child labour/slavery, and sexual exploitation of vulnerable groups. The media must engage these international and domestic laws to protect the rights of vulnerable groups in Nigeria.”

He said the use of school-age children for armed conflicts violated international conventions on child rights protection.

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