Statement in response to the attack on St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Ondo State, Nigeria
Dakar, 6 June: Save the Children’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Philippe Adapoe, said in response to the attack on the church in Ondo State in Nigeria in which at least 50 people including children were reported killed:
“Our hearts are broken for the families of those killed in this senseless attack, including the innocent children who lost their lives while celebrating in a place of worship.
“This incident is a grave reminder that children often bear the brunt of violence and conflict, in Nigeria and across the region. For the children who were injured in this incident, their suffering may last for years. Other surviving children may have witnessed their peers or family members lose their lives.
“This brutal act has taken place when Nigerians have only recently celebrated Nigerian National Children’s Day on 27 May, where Save the Children called for a renewed commitment of all stakeholders at federal, state and local government levels to protect, respect and fulfil the rights of the child.
“Save the Children calls on the government of Nigeria to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children, in all contexts, as this is essential to ensure children’s rights to survival, development and well-being.
“Perpetrators of crimes against children must be held to account and brought to justice. Impunity for violations of children’s rights feed into the narrative that these crimes are acceptable and can create cycles of violence. The violence must end here, now.”