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Atrocities and gender-based violence by Boko Haram (HRC30, 2015, OS)

Date : 2015.10.01

IMADR delivered its oral statement on “Atrocities and gender-based violence by Boko Haram” at the 30th session of the Human Rights Council. Whole text can be read below or downloaded here.


IMADR Oral Statement: 30th session of the Human Rights Council

Item 2: Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on violations and abuses committed by Boko Haram and the impact on human rights in the affected countries

30 September 2015

Thank you Mr. President,

We welcome the OHCHR report on Boko Haram and its recommendations. However, we regret that, despite our appeal to the international community last year, the populations in Nigeria and its neighbouring countries continue to be subjected to horrific abuses such as massacres; torture; abduction; slavery and forced recruitment.

Women and girls are particularly at risk and are constantly targeted. While last week, the Nigerian Government announced the liberation of more than 200 people in Borno State, hundreds of women are still in captivity. They endure extremely severe and widespread violations of their rights, including sexual slavery, sexual violence and forced pregnancy.

We are very concerned by the numerous cases of captive women and girls giving birth or having miscarriages in extremely difficult and degrading conditions. In addition, for hundreds of women and girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, their suffering did not end when delivered by government forces. Indeed, once back in their community, they suffer from great stigmatization, making them unwilling to speak about the sexual violence they have endured.

To conclude, it is imperative to recall the fate of the Chibok girls kidnapped in April 2014. More than a year after their abduction, most of them remain missing.

Today, we once again call upon the Nigerian Government as well as its neighbours to protect civilians against Boko Haram and restore peace and religious harmony in their countries. The Governments should adopt the following measures:

  • Ensure the safety of civilians while countering Boko Haram;
  • Take immediate measures to protect girls and women; including psychosocial counselling and medical care;
  • Offer sufficient protection and remedies to victims;
  • and, cooperate with Special procedures, especially the Special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

Finally, we urge the international community to support Nigeria and its neighbours in the implementation of the report’s recommendations.

Thank you Mr. President.

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