The office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA), together with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), have funded and launched the STRIVE Juvenile project in Nigeria, to prevent and respond to violence against children by vextremist groups.

The Project was aimed at developing strategies to better serve and protect children by enhancing safe and resilient communities, in which human rights and the rule of law guide the approach to combating violent extremism

At the meeting, the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno represented, Head of Counter Terrorism Centre, ONSA by Rear Admiral YEM Musa said that “the launch of the STRIVE Juvenile project provides an opportunity to demonstrate the firm commitment of the Nigerian Government to counter terrorism and preventing violent extremism affecting children.

He said, “In the past years, Nigeria has been gravely affected by child recruitment by terrorist and violent extremist groups. Under the framework of its ‘National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism’, the Government of Nigeria provides a clear policy environment to develop interventions that promote stabilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration, in particular, in the most affected communities’’.

A statement by Communications Associate United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Ms. Olivia Ogechi Okorondu says in line with the four pillars of the new EU’s Countering Terrorism Agenda: Anticipate, Prevent, Protect, and Respond, STRIVE Juvenile in Nigeria will disrupt terrorist groups recruitment of children and promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of children who have been associated with these groups, in collaboration with local communities.

Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to the Federal Republic of Nigeria & ECOWAS, Ms. Cécile Tassin-Pelzer, said Nigeria can set an important example to a region that continues to be gravely affected by this complex phenomenon.

Head of UNODC’s Global Programme to End Violence Against Children, Ms. Alexandra Martins, stressed that supporting effective prevention of child recruitment, investing in rehabilitation and reintegration efforts, and promoting justice for children, present a unique opportunity for national governments to strengthen development and resilience against violent extremism.