Rights group Amnesty International is warning that Nigeria must address more than 10 years of neglect of an entire generation of children in the country’s north-east.
The area has been severely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
In a 91-page report, the global watchdog said children living in Boko Haram-controlled areas were subjected to torture, floggings and sexual abuse.
While mostly accusing the Islamist militant group of atrocities it also criticised the army.
It said the security forces held “children in conditions amounting to torture in military detention”.
Amnesty International highlighted a flawed reintegration programme for alleged former fighters known as Safe Corridor.
It receives funding from the European Union and other international donors.
Amnesty says that those in the programme have no access to legal representation, and are often held for extended periods.
The Nigeria military is yet to respond to allegations of torture and unlawful detention of children, in the report.
The UN Children’s Agency, Unicef, says that between September 2017 and May 2019, it reported the release of more than 1,700 children after being cleared of links with jihadists.