A report released UNICEF today has said the number of children used in suicide attacks by the evil group in the first three months of this year is close to the figure for the whole of 2016.
Up to 27 children have been used in suicide attacks by the armed Islamist group in the first three months of 2017, which is just three less than cases reported for the whole of 2016.
In 2016 there were nine cases of children being used for bombings in the the first three months of the year and this rose to 30 by the end.
Boko Haram kidnapped around 270 school girls almost three years
In the countries fighting Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region – Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad – the UNICEF report found that girls were more likely to forcibly recruited into performing suicide attacks for the depraved group.
Boko Haram has killed about 20,000 people and displaced more than two million in an eight-year insurgency aimed at creating a strict Islamic state in the northeast African region.
Islamist militants loyal to Boko Haram have also pledged their allegiance to ISIS.
More than 200 of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 are still missing
These children are victims, not perpetrators.
Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF's regional director for West and Central Africa
Boko Haram caught media attention in 2014 after the terror group kidnapped around 270 girls from their school in the Nigerian state of Borno and while 21 were freed last year, more than 200 girls are reportedly still missing.
According to the United Nations group, Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of people, often raping them and forcing them to become suicide bombers or marry Islamist fighters.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
The chilling report revealed one 16-year-old girl from Chad lost her legs after she was drugged and forced by Boko Haram to take part in an attempted suicide attack on a crowded market.
Although the girl survived, her family initially rejected her "out of fear of stigma".
Countries most affected by terrorism in 2016
Fri, November 25, 2016
Terrorist attacks have been prevalent in the news this year. In fact, there's been an incident every single month. Here we list the countries most affected by terrorism in 2016.
1 of 12
Countries most affected by terrorist attacks in 2016
Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF's regional director for West and Central Africa said: "These children are victims, not perpetrators.
"Forcing or deceiving them into committing such horrific acts is reprehensible."
Children who have escaped Boko Haram are often ostracised or held in custody by authorities over terrorism fears.
The UNICEF report said: ”Society's rejection of these children, and their sense of isolation and desperation, could be making them more vulnerable to promises of martyrdom through acceptance of dangerous and deadly missions.”
A spokeswoman of the organisation added that about 370 people still remain in custody following the release of 593 others, including children, by Nigeria's military on Monday after they were cleared of having ties with Boko Haram.
Children make up 1.3 million of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict, according to the report.
UNICEF has said the response to the crisis "remains severely underfunded", as they attempt to provide mental health and social support, reunite families and offer education, safe water and medical services in the African region.