Aisha Zannah, a student in the Department of Mass Communication, Skyline University Nigeria, has wowed the audience with her creative talent at the recently held 3rd Annual Knowledge for Prevention Symposium (K4P), where she was one of the speakers for youth advocate. The symposium which took place on 18th November 2021, at the Marriott Kigali Hotel in Rwanda, was designed to address ongoing research and policy gaps around children’s recruitment and use in armed violence.
The symposium with the theme, ‘Intersecting Violations – Preventing Forced Child Labour and the recruitment and use as soldiers’, seeks to better understand the indicators that precede childrens' recruitment and use as part of both state and non-state armed groups. Despite being a phenomenon that continues to occur in conflicts around the globe, reliable and timely information to advance prevention efforts is still lacking, whereas, new methodologies are required to enhance existing knowledge and gain a better understanding of this global issue.
While making her presentation on the theme of the event, Ms. Aisha reiterated the importance of effective security culture in combatting crime to the barest minimum, particularly to protect youth in Northeast Nigeria that are vulnerable to the dual challenges of being targets for recruitment and stigmatized by their community for suspected affiliation with armed group. “Armed groups use and recruitment of children to act as a twofold weapon, exacting violence on the youth themselves and on the community, ethos by threatening family and community stability”, she stated.
She highlighted that the issue of children being used in armed conflict is of great concern that requires the intervention of International Corporations. In her words, “The future is the children and coming from Nigeria, where the insurgency is affecting the future of the whole world, there is the need for countries like Nigeria, Mozambique and other countries to learn from this insecurity, broaden their horizon and provide lasting solutions that will help not only Africa but the rest of the world
It is worth the mention that Aisha was the only advocate from Nigeria amongst other important dignitaries. These dignitaries include Simon Hills, Technical Specialist, International Labour Organization & Co-Chair of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action as well as Dr. Musavengana Chibwana, Senior Child Protection Officer, African Union.
More photos below.