UNICEF: Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 1000 children in Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Terror group Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 1,000 children in Nigeria since 2013, UNICEF said Friday.

The statement came as Nigeria prepares to make the four-year anniversary of the Chibok abductions on April 14, 2014.
"Since 2013, more than 1000 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, including 276 girls taken from their secondary school in the town of Chibok in 2014," the statement said.
The Chibok abduction sparked global outrage and reignited the fight against the ISIS-aligned terrorist group.
    Some of the girls were finally freed three years later, following negotiation talks between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram.
    But more than 100 of them remain in captivity.

    'A grave violation'

    The UN agency appealed for an end to attacks on schools and "all grave violations of children's rights," in the northeast of the country.
    Children, particularly young girls, are vulnerable to attacks by the militant group and the agency said they have been "consistently targeted and exposed to brutal violence in their homes, schools and public places."
    "These repeated attacks against children in schools are unconscionable. Children have the right to education and protection, and the classroom must be a place where they are safe from harm, UNICEF representative in Nigeria," Mohammed Malick Fall said in the statement.
    Four years on more than 100 of the Chibok girls are still missing.

    Hopeful parents

    Yana Galang, whose daughter Rifkatu is still missing, says she is hopeful her daughter will come back.
    Every year on the anniversary of their daughters' disappearance, the parents gather in Chibok to pray for their safe return.
    And this year will be no different.
    "I know in my heart that Rifkatu will come back. I have not given up hope," she says.