16 May, Abuja - Under the leadership of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the European Union (EU) and UNODC, held the second National Steering Committee meeting for the Project STRIVE Juvenile in Abuja. Working on the complex situation of children associated with terrorist groups, the National Steering Committee discussed the project’s achievements since the 2021 and the plan for future activities for its second year. “Coordination and multi-disciplinarity are the reasons why the role of this Steering Committee is so crucial. This is the most important forum for the discussion and validation of the project’s objectives and interventions”, stressed the representative of the EU Delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Jérôme Rivière, thereby highlighting the importance of the Steering Committee’s role.
On behalf of ONSA, Mr. Dennis Ozioko presented the main results achieved during the first year of the Project, which completed the inception phase and included research and capacity building activities. “We know that children are recruited on purpose. We need to put a stop to this” - he said, while also expressing ONSA’s appreciation for STRIVE Juvenile’s focus on research - “We are especially supportive of the initiatives that allow us to garner a better understanding of the trajectories of children when they join and also when they leave the groups.”
National counterparts, including representatives from the Federal Government, Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States, the justice sector, national research and training institutes, as well as civil society and youth-led organizations, had the opportunity to discuss and provide input to the proposed workplan for the second year of the STRIVE Juvenile Project. It includes initiatives in the complementary areas of research, legal advisory services, capacity-building, advocacy and awareness raising, in line with national priorities. The fruitful discussions were concluded with the approval of the STRIVE Juvenile workplan for the second year of implementation in Nigeria.
The new workplan presents a crucial opportunity to promote a coherent whole-of-government and whole-of-society framework to protect children from terrorism and violent extremism in Nigeria. Mr. Rivière, reiterated the importance of shared commitments: “in partnering with UNODC, the EU wanted to ensure that STRIVE Juvenile would support coordination among the key national stakeholders, both child rights defenders and security actors, as all are essential to addressing this phenomenon effectively.” Speaking on behalf of ONSA, Mr. Ozioko concluded the meeting by stressing the importance of this joint initiative: “The project allows an opportunity to make child recruitment and exploitation a priority in the context of the Nigerian PCVE approach. This is necessary and urgent.”
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During the Special Event, the new project STRIVE Juvenile has been presented. STRIVE Juvenile: Preventing and Responding to Violence against Children by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups is a three-year (2021-2024), EUR 5.5 million initiative by the European Union and UNODC. The project aims to partner with the selected countries, the Republic of Indonesia, the Republic of Iraq and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the development and implementation of comprehensive national responses to prevent and counter violent extremism affecting children, in full respect of human rights, gender equality and international law... Read more
STRIVE Juvenile Factsheet EN FR BA ; E-Press Kit
UNODC Global Programme to END VAC ; Factsheet EN FR
UN Strategies & Measures on the Elimination of VAC
Convention on the Rights of the Child