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Nigeria: Child Protection and Education Needs Assessment Borno and Adamawa State

Plan International Nigeria has been responding to the needs of affected children, youth and their families since 2016, and has been using a wide range of existing secondary data to inform its project design. As new areas become open for humanitarian assistance, and additional humanitarian actors increase their presence on the ground, Plan International Nigeria wanted to better understand the changing needs of affected children and their families, how humanitarian and government actors have responded to these needs, and current gaps existing in communities in which it works. Plan International Nigeria conducted a needs assessment between July and August of 2017, to ensure smooth access to communities, and to provide additional evidence for program expansion/amendment to the current approaches. The assessment was conducted in Borno and Adamawa State – two of the most conflict-affected states – covering 20 communities in 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Plan International Nigeria’s emergency response operations. Plan International Nigeria used purposive sampling methodology to select these locations. The followings steps were taken:  Step 1: Plan International Nigeria listed all the LGAs, Wards and Communities in which it works and mapped where specific Plan International Nigeria interventions were being implemented.  Step 2: Plan International Nigeria developed criteria to differentiate between the various characteristics of the communities in which they work. Criteria was slightly different for Borno and Adamawa State, and given that the affected communities in Southern Borno and Northern Adamawa have similar characteristics, Southern Borno was instead included in the Adamawa sampling. The following criteria was used:
Key findings: 
The following presents key findings from the Child Protection and Education Needs Assessment. While it was expected that needs and risks would be different based on geographical areas (Borno and Adamawa State), primary data collected did not reveal this to be true. Therefore, the following Key Findings are reported for communities assessed in both Borno and Adamawa State. Child Protection Nigeria domesticated the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child through the Child’s Rights Act in 2003. This act defines a child as below the age of 18 years. However, in many states of Northeast Nigeria, including Adamawa and Borno State, the Child’s Rights Act has not yet been promulgated into law (passed by the state assembly and assented to by the state governor) (UNICEF, April 2011). Similarly, the age of criminal responsibility is seen as under 18 by most States – however, in States adopting Sharia Law (ex: Borno State) the age can be as low as 7 (Child Rights International Network, 2017). It is important to note, that while risks to dangers and injuries did not come out as a major child protection finding, the desk review found that unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in Nigeria (Child Protection Working Group, 2012). Dangers include road-traffic accidents, fire-related injuries, natural hazards (such as fast moving rivers), and other risks. The conflict in Northeast Nigeria has put children at particular risk to explosive remnants of war (ERW) and landmines. Borno and Adamawa state are the most impacted by the presence of ERWs (ACAPS, 2016). In such areas, IDPs have noted that there are certain places that the population won’t go due to fear of landmines planted in those areas. (Protection Sector Working Group, 2016). Girls and young women are facing increased risk to gender based violence (GBV), including sexual violence, exploitation, early pregnancy and forced marriage. The age of consent in Nigeria (the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity) is 11 years old. Individuals aged 10 or younger in Nigeria are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape or the equivalent local law. As the Child’s Right Act hasn’t been adopted by all States, there is a variation for the legal status of children on issues like the age of marriage (in the Northeast there is no legal minimum age, however, it is generally understood to be around the age of 13) (Right to Education Project, 1999). Nigeria’s statutory rape law is violated when an individual has consensual sexual contact with a person under age 11 (Age of Consent, 2017). In Northeast Nigeria, the protective environment around the child (such as the family and community) are strained and weakened as a result of mass displacements and loss of social cohesion and trust (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2016). This has resulted in women and girls being at increased risk to various forms of sexual violence, exploitation and abuse, forced or early marriage, denial of resources and harmful traditional practices.
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
25 Sep 2017
Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Collection Method(s): 
Structured Interview
Baseline data analysis
Population Type(s): 
Camp population
Host communities
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
Plan International
Nigeria: Complex Emergency - 2014-2019