Statement by UNICEF Nigeria Representative a.i. Pernille Ironside on the release of children from administrative custody

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On 4 November 2016 in Maiduguri, Nigeria, newly-reunited families receive care packages from UNICEF and partners in a transit center for women and children that had been held by the Nigerian military for questioning. © UNICEF/UN039669/Bindra

ABUJA, 5 October 2017 – “UNICEF welcomes the release of 752 women, children and elderly men from Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday.

“They had been held for screening after previously having been under the control of Boko Haram militants. The release is a demonstration of the Nigerian authorities’ commitment to better protecting children and helping families to rebuild their lives.

“These are first and foremost victims of this horrific conflict.

“UNICEF is working closely with the Borno State Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development and other partners to support the children in their recovery and return to their communities.

“Medical personnel are assessing the condition of the women and children. Counselling services are on hand and social workers are helping to trace parents or guardians, so that they can reunite children who have been separated from their families. Children will also have an opportunity to start learning and playing again.

“This is the first important step on a long road to recovery and normalcy for these children and women who will require ongoing support to reintegrate their families and communities.”


Note to the editor
For further information, please contact:
Thierry Delvigne, UNICEF Regional Office in Dakar, +221 33 831 0862,
Doune Porter, UNICEF Nigeria, +234 803 525 0273,
Joe English, UNICEF New York + 1 917-893-0692