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Children Of IDPS And War-Torn Areas: Strategies For Protecting The Childs Right And Preventing Juvenile Crimes And Deliqencies
Date Posted: 10/Sep/2019
AUTHORS:
FIRST AUTHOR
1.Dr. Anthonia U. Chinweuba
PhD, RN, RM, PHNE, FWACN
Department of Nursing Sciences,
University of  Nigeria, Nsukka,
Enugu Campus.
+2348032162180
 
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
2.Mbah Favour Chioma
BNSc, RN, RM
Maternal and child health nursing,
Department of nursing sciences,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka,
Enugu Campus.
+2348068755400
 
OTHER  AUTHORS
3. Pastor Anyachukwu,Canice Chukwudi;
B.Sc (Kn), M.Sc (Nig). Dip Theo
Department of Medical rehabilitation
Faculty of Health Sciences & Technology
College of Medicine,
University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria.
Alternative email; [email protected]
 
4.Umezinwa Chioma
Msc, BNSc, RN, RM
Medical Surgical Nursing,
Department of nursing sciences,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka,
Enugu Campus.
+2348061259211
 
INTRODUCTION
Conflict causes devastating scars in the societies, especially among the minors. These young ones experience unspeakable violence and injustice, injuries and death, displacement and separation from families. Also, the loss of family and untold traumas which are connected with violence and recruitment into armed forces or groups are witnessed by the entire victims and family members (UNHCR, 2016). Consequently, the involvement of the young ones in armed conflict violates the rights of the youngsters to life and education, health and family. Invariably, it takes away from them the access to basic social amenities and services, putting their health and future to danger. These experiences negatively affect their psychological and social, economical and spiritual well-being. Thus, an estimate of about twenty-four times more under -18 children may likely die during armed conflict, disaster than in peacetime (Kalin, 2000). 
 
In all Africa countries, Civil wars, inter-country wars and other forms of violence including terrorist activities are not alien to children in this continent. To buttress this point, about 2 million children have been recorded killed through armed conflict. Another 1 million have become orphaned, and over 6 million have been seriously injured or disabled (Vincent, 2000). However, Mooney (2015) recorded that the United Nations data claims about 300,000 children as being actively engaged in armed forces and groups. Every month around 800 children are killed or injured severally from landmines or unexploded ordinance, an estimated 12 million children are internally displaced (IDMC, 2006). The effects of violence cross borders in Africa, causing an increase in forced migration, separation of children from their families, sexual abuse against children and recruitment of children into armed groups. 
 
The Boko Haram terrorist members that are operating in northeastern Nigeria, was the latest entrant on the list of perpetrators of grave violators against the rights of the young ones as reported. This group has been responsible for the countless killings, maiming and numerous attacks on health facilities and schools (UNHCR, 2016). One of its highest despicable atrocities was the year 2014 reported abduction of 276 Chibok girls from a boarding school in Adamawa State.  The attacks on educational and health facilities have been on the increase in the African countries like Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria. This calls for special protection from their states to prevent them from these incessant exposures to conflict and mitigate its impact on the survivors. There exist International, regional and domestic frameworks established in most countries to protect them from such acts and experiences (UNHCR, 2016). These United Nations and the African Union related or sponsored frameworks have both ratified and domesticated by most African governments. And most national child protection regulations and policies were drawn from these international instruments. 
 
Practically, such laws and organizations have been rendered often ineffective and inefficient. This is due to the poor funding and government commitment, confirming the observation that child protection initiatives in armed conflict or emergency contexts are among the least funded programs. For example, child protection received only 1.10 per cent of government budgets in 2008 in countries facing conflict in Africa. The percentage declined further, to a paltry 0.7 per cent, and education received less funding than child protection as reported in 2009 (Das, Tuhin, Haldar, Sushil, Das-Gupta, Ivy, Kundu & Sangeeta, 2016).  This implies that national governments are often reluctant to advance protection, indirectly standing as initiators and abettors of conflict themselves, despite their international allegiance to protect the rights and welfare of children. More so, it has been recorded that social unrest has also exposed these young ones into acts of participating in unlawful activities (Juvenile deliquesces). This huge challenge was identified among 45,567 minors in USA, in 2016 alone. The 17% of the persons arrested were under-18 (Siegel, Larry, Welsh & Brandon, 2011). Not only did the problem affect the victims of the crime; it also affected the whole family, future and society identified with the juvenile.
 
Objectives:
This paper aims to;
1.Who ‘Internally Displaced Persons’ are?
2.Identify the war devastated areas of the world.
3.Empirically find the statistics for children of internally displaced persons.
4.Discuss the rights of children in Nigeria.
5.Identify the strategies for protecting the child’s right.
6.Explain what juvenile delinquencies are.
7.Discuss the ways of preventing juvenile crimes and delinquencies.
 
Concept of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)
Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) are "Persons or groups of persons who have been forced out or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence. This is in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters"  (Mooney, 2015). Also, this includes persons forced to flee from their homes because of economic injustice and marginalization tantamount to systematic violations of economic rights. Thus, this definition excludes persons who for the sake of economic reasons migrate. Behind economic measures affecting a person’s livelihood there may be racial, religious or political aims or intentions directed against a particular group (Mooney, 2015).
 
Causes of displacement 
Armed conflicts: Fighting between the armed forces of at least two states can arise (International armed conflicts), as well as the international armed conflicts, which is the wars of national liberation. Non-international conflicts (fighting on the territory of a state between the regular armed forces and identifiable armed groups, or between armed groups fighting one another also occurs (Cross, Kentera & Vukadinovic, 2013). 
Situations of violence: Many citizens become ‘IDPs’ in situations where there are internal tensions or disturbances. This describes a situation of ‘internal tensions and disturbances’. Here, there are shortfalls of armed conflict, but there is the use of force and other repressive measures by government agents to maintain or restore public order (Das, et al 2016). Thereby, the people suffer tensions and disturbances arising from riots, demonstrations without a concerted plan from the outset, isolated sporadic acts of violence, as opposed to military operations carried out by armed forces or armed groups, and violent ethnic conflicts not amounting to full armed conflict. This will further lead to internal tensions and human rights violations such as large-scale arrests, and other large-scale measures restricting personal freedom, administrative detention and assigned residence, a large number of political prisoners, ill-treatment or inhuman conditions of detention (Siegel, Larry, Welsh & Brandon, 2011). 
 
Violations of human rights: The causes of displacement of persons cannot discountenance the human rights violation in the form of government transgressions of the rights guaranteed by national, regional and international human rights law, as well as the omissions directly attributable to the state involving the failure to implement legal obligations from human rights standards (Goode & Erica, 2011). Persecution as applied in the context of the refugee act of freedom movement forms part of the situations cited as human rights violations. Other human rights violations are threat to life or freedom on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group; and discrimination with consequences of a substantially prejudicial nature. 
 
If disasters will completely be classified then it should include the natural or human-made origins. The former refers to droughts, floods, earthquakes or typhoons, nuclear disasters or famine. These victims sometimes become victims of discrimination and other human rights violations as a consequence of their displacement. This is because as they move to new areas of accommodations secondary to displacements, they could be identified as refugees and constitute ethnic minors). However, in some cases of disaster (whether natural or man-made disasters),  governments responses have been characterized by discriminations or  neglects against certain groups of the victims based on political or religious, ethnic or racial grounds; thus, violating the rights of the victims in one way or the other consciously or otherwise (Moffitt, 2006). 
 
Other possible causes of internal displacement can for instance include large-scale development projects such as dams built without any government attempt to resettle or compensate those displaced or airport constructions. Other big or large governmental projects that require large-scale land mass acquisitions by some selfish governments in pretence that those project are in the interest of the populace-political promise keeping developmental projects. This occurs without any commensurate compensation from the government to the victims. After all, those projects only increase the entire national or state Gross Capital. This occurs much in countries where the Land Decree Acts favors the government autocratic government or military e.g. in Nigeria. Several state governors have constructed many projects to enrich their personal pockets under the false umbrella or coverage of the state governments they served to acquire the massive economic land of the masses not minding the monumental structures existing there abinisuee. They do this with impunity and without any commiserate compensations, and most times with no at all in anyway thereby leaving the victims to suffer loss, lack and without shelter. The good examples include the several displacements of traders in many Lagos markets which were turned into some other structures by Ambode-led government (2015-2019) in Lagos State, the Theodore Orji-led government (2011-2015) in Abia State and the Rochas Okorocha-led government (2015-2019) in Imo State. The Obasanjo-led government Abandoned Property saga where the Igbos lost all their developed and undeveloped estates/landed properties to the Rivers State indigenes (1975-1979) under the task-force chairmanship of Major David Mark who later became the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2007-2015).    
Factors that heighten the protection risks of the IDPs
According to UNHCR (2016), any person affected by conflict and/or human rights violations or suffer displacement from one's place of residence is termed Internally Displaced Persons and are   particularly vulnerable. Following these provisions of the law, some of the factors that are likely to increase the need for protection include:  
All the IDPs have lost their homes and, as a result, may be in need of shelters. In some cases they may be compelled to seek shelter in crowded camps or settlements, which can give rise to various protection risks. 
They have often lost access to their land and other property and are cut off from their normal livelihoods and sources of income. As a result they may suffer poverty, marginalization, exploitation and abuse. 
Access to adequate food, educational, health facilities and social amenities like: safe water and public services, schools and hospitals/health care centers becomes difficult. This could lead to poverty, malnourishments/malnutrition (kwasiokor), high levels of hunger and disease; child labour or forced recruitment into armed forces or groups and sexual exploitations and harassments and insecurity, loss of loved ones and family members (husbands/wives, children and bread-winners), place of worship and ancestral worship places and homes, ancestral originality and cultures identities. Family and community structures often collapse and unaccompanied and separated children, single-headed households (in particular when headed by women or children). Older persons and persons with disabilities are often at heightened risk of abuse. 
Identity documents often are lost, destroyed or confiscated in the course of displacement. As a result, IDPs often face difficulties in accessing public services, such as education and health care, limits on freedom of movement and heightened risk of harassment, exploitation or arbitrary arrest and detention. In many cases, IDPs are displaced into areas where they face marginalization, discrimination and hostility.
Internally Displaced Persons may face language barriers during displacement.
 
A comparison of the IDP and refugee 
According to the 1951 Convention, Act 1A(2) & 1967 Protocol, a refugee is defined as a person who is outside his/her country of nationality due to fear, unwillingness and inability to avail himself/herself the protection of that country of nationality. The requirements to become a refugee according to the 1951 convention are precise and limited such as the evidence of well-founded fear of persecutions (Roberta & Anthonia, 2017). But, an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) is much broader and includes natural and human-made disasters.
A person becomes a refugee only when he or she crosses an international border, whereas an internally displaced person remains within his or her country (Das, et al, 2016). 
The status of refugee entitles the individual to certain rights. Being internally displaced does not entitle one to any additional rights, internally displaced persons have the same rights as other citizens of the country (Cross, et al, 2013). The legal status of refugee is set by an international legal document. No similar binding document defines internally displaced persons.
 
Nigeria: A Case study of IDP   
The Nigerian 1999 Constitution has no direct provision for protection of the young ones in armed violence, but such an obligation can be seen under the Fundamental aims and Directive Principles of State Policy under the Constitution (UNHCR, 2017). The child rights and protection code has been threatened immensely by Boko Haram insurgency. Based on this there have been continuous and deliberate attacks on social amenities, educational institutions and health facilities on the increase daily in the northeast. Reports by education authorities have it that at least 338 schools were damaged, while at least 194 teachers killed between 2012 and 2014. The United Nations reports that more than 1 million children had been pursued out of school and 600 teachers killed as at December, 2015 (UNHCR, 2016). These social unrests now have a huge effect on food production and access to roads, farm lands and agricultural and other human activities that aids livelihood. So that, several integral of the population have been forced to vacate their farms and cattle, affecting access to food, as the rural farmers were forcefully displaced. As for security, it is poor in the camps for the displaced persons. Hence, sexual abuse is rampant among displaced population just as was reported among the IDPs in the NYSC camp of Maiduguri, Nigeria. This has lead to most parents resorting to early marriage plans for their young daughters to some seeming relative responsible males as a way to protect theses damsels from being forceful and marriage under duress to the insurgents. Also, there were reported cases of mothers pushing their children to engage in sexual acts for money to help the family. 
 
According to UNCHR(2016), the military while on their role working with the military on counter-insurgency activities of necessitates have recruited about 8,000 young ones into the civilian Joint Task Force and were instrumental in working with the military on counter-insurgency activities (UNHCR, 2016). On the other side, the militants were said to have utilized force to recruit young boys, who were forced to carry out violent acts including killing and raping. These bring enormous psychosocial needs. The child protection sub-cluster estimated that 1 million children are in need in Nigeria.
 
A National Disaster Management Framework has been set in place, and humanitarian actors including NGOs are focused on child protection. Personnel have been allocated with the duty of working with children, and there are partnerships with community leaders and other institutions, including the mass media. Multi-stakeholder meetings are held monthly to explore the situation with regard to sexual violence and to ensure that proper protocols are followed when dealing with victims (UNHCR, 2017).
 
Federal Government Recognized IDP Camps in Nigeria 
1.Abuja
Lugbe IDP Camp
Area I IDP Camp
New Kuchingoro IDP Camp
Kuje IDP Camp
 
2.Lagos
Ibeju Lekki IDP Camp 
 
3.Borno State
Maiduguri Bakassi IDP Camp
 
War has been a distinct part of the human condition. While every country on the planet has engaged in social unrest at some point, there are those nations that, for one reason or another, are difficult in perpetual warfare, desperate to leave, but seemingly destined to stay shackled to the cycle of violence that has devastated their countries for so long. These are the list of some of the most war torn nations on earth (Dishion & McCord, 2009).
 
War has been an unwanted necessary evil that has come to stay with man/human race. Generally, almost every country on this planet earth has been engaged with one unrest or the other at one time or the other. But there are exceptions to this phenomenon warring countries for one reason or the other. They have found difficult to leave in peace but in perpetual warfare state despite the international efforts to leave in peace. Hence, they seem to have destined to stay in the shackles to the cycle of violence that has devastated their countries for so long. These are the list of some of the most war torn nations on earth (Dishion & McCord, 2009).
 
War devastated areas in the world
War has been a distinct part of the human condition. While every country on the planet has engaged in social unrest at some point, there are those nations that, for one reason or another, are difficult in perpetual warfare, desperate to leave, but seemingly destined to stay shackled to the cycle of violence that has devastated their countries for so long. These are the list of some of the most war torn nations on earth (Dishion & McCord, 2009).
1.Sierra Leone: After three military coups in a period of a year, Sierra Leone habited into just over ten years of peace before an 11-year civil violence broke out in 1991. With the aid from Liberia, the Revolutionary United Front tried to take over the government of Joseph Momoh. The war led to over 55,000 deaths and millions more injured and displaced a figure that would have been much higher if not for British and American intervention. The conflict was, as is the case in so many African wars, over traditional resources, specifically diamonds in the eastern and southern parts of the country. Though peace has remained steady since 2002, it is a hard one.
 
2.Sudan: Sudan has been involved in civil war for the better part of the last 60 years. The first Sudanese Civil War fought between the muslim north of the country and the Christian and tribal south of the country lasted from 1955 until 1972. Fought over religion and oil, most scholars a accept the first conflict never ended and instead an 11-year cease-fire kept tensions at bay, until the Second Sudanese Civil social unrest started in 1982, lasting until 2005. The violence in Sudan is one of the most devastating in African history, with places like Darfur becoming synonymous with massacres and human suffering. When South Sudan broke away and formed an independent government in 2011, it was thought that violence in the utterly devastated region would reduce. This was not to be however, as in 2013 civil war broke out again, this time between various factions in South Sudan, keeping the region in the grip of war till now.
 
3.Congo: Another African nation utterly devastated by war, the war in Congo was caused by the Rwandan genocide. Though the vast array of details are too many to mention here, essentially all neighboring African nation (and then some) invaded Congo and began killing each other, all the while mining the nation for its natural resources. Between 1999 and 2002, 2.5 million Congolese died alone. With marauding guerillas lead by warlords roaming the country, Congo descended into fear, with people being shot, hacked and starved to death, children taken to become members of the armed force, and entire villages being wiped off the map. Though there has been no war in the Congo for two years now, the amount of pressure still prevalent in the nation means violence is never far away.
 
4.Somalia:The difficulty that western powers had in intervening in regional violence. Taken over in a civil war between various warlords and would be rulers from 1991 until 2006, the west moved out of Somalia in 1995 amidst large numbers of casualties and no hope for restoring a centralized government. Without western backing for leadership the war continued for another decade, devastating the nation, so much so that even though the civil war ended, insurgencies and violence still break out today further destabilizing Somalia, nullifying its long term recovery and priming the country for another potentially brutawar.
 
5.Vietnam: During the period  French left their colony of Vietnam in 1950 the country split into two opposing factions; the communist government recognized by the Soviet Union and China centered in Hanoi in the north, and the remnants of the French installed government in Saigon in the south, backed by the United States and Great Britain. By 1955, the country was at conflict with itself. What resulted was not only an extremely bloody 20-year civil war but also a proxy war between Cold War rivals, with American participation being by far the most expansive. The violence was notoriously grim, producing substantiated claims of war crimes committed by all parties. Seeing no victory in sight after the fall of Saigon, U.S. involvement in Vietnam ceased and the country has remained communist since then. All told, over 3 million people died in the war, and Vietnam is still experiencing the debilitating impacts of the war nearly 40 years later. 
 
6.Colombia: Violence in Colombia has been ongoing since 1964 between the governments, paramilitary groups, left wing armed revolutionaries and many criminal organizations. Some groups, such as the left-wing rebels say thatthey are fighting because of Marxism, while the government is ostensibly fighting for stability and to recover back their peace. The paramilitary groups claim they are fighting to protect the country from the revolutionaries, but have also been accused of being involved in drug trafficking with criminal elements within the country. Importantly, it is a free for all with a central government doing little to stop the conflict that has claimed over 200,000 lives, the vast majority civilian, and forced over 5 million people from their homes. Though peace discussions opened in 2012, rebels quickly thwarted any hope for resolution by killing over 20 people in July of 2013.
 
7.Burma/Myanmar: Recognised officially since 1989 as Republic of the Union of Myanmar when the ruling military government changed the country’s identity from Burma, either way you call it, the country has been engaged in an ethnic civil war since 1948. After gaining freedom from Britain, the nation descended quickly into violence as the various ethnic groups in the country clamoured for power, fighting one other and eventually fighting against the military government that took hold of the country. Currently, fighting continues amongst some of the ethnic groups, with most hoping to carve out a small nation of their own. Though 25 separate groups have endorsed their signatures for the ceasefire agreements with the military government, violence still occurs in certain areas of the country.
 
8.Iraq: Iraq has long been at war in one way or another since 1920. From international powers invading, to civil wars between ethnic groups, internal revolutions and conflicts with Israel, to the 1980-1988 war with Iran and the two wars with the United States and its allies, Iraq has seen more of bloodshed in the past 100 years. To this day, it continues with the insurgency that has been a terror to the country since 2011. While various groups protest for power in Iraq against a weak central government and military, the west has yet again decided to enter the conflict in the Middle Eastern nation to quell the violence. Only time will tell how effective that may be, but now the war in Iraq is far from over.
 
9.Afghanistan: The hilly, largely inaccessible and optimum rich country of Afghanistan boasts some of the most beautiful geography in the world. It also has vast cultural groups making up a colorful, yet difficult to govern mosaic. As such, many other countries have attempted to rule the region, none with any progress. This nation has been at war since 1839, starting with the British colonists who sought dominion over Afghanistan until 1919. Following a time of 60 years of relative peace, the Soviet Union tried to conquer the mountains and waged a vicious war against the guerilla fighters, the Mujahideen, until massive losses forced the Red Army to withdraw leaving the nation ruler-less. A time of civil wars followed culminating in the rise of the Taliban, before a post-9/11 coalition invaded the nation, where western forces and Afghan military still fight a violent insurgency today.
 
10.Chechnya: Russia and Chechnya have had a bloody and tumultuous relationship for over two centenaries years, with no signs of abating. Sometimes forced to be a reluctant part of the Russian Federation or the Soviet Union, at times an autonomous region, and at times in a violent limbo, Islamic Chechnya has sought to be independent from Russia, and has been fighting to that end, since 1785. Chechen-mounted terrorist attacks, filmed beheadings of hostages, school massacres, airport bombings and all Chechen populations being massacred and towns being razed to the ground as a pay back; the two sides were fighting an absolute war of attrition. The violence has spilled over Chechnya’s borders and into neighboring Islamic territories within Russia as well, meaning there may be no end in sight to the conflict.
 
 

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