Nigeria: #BringBackOurGirls

8 OCTOBER 2014 UPDATE: In July, the Nigerian Ministry of the Interior responded to our letter calling for increased efforts to rescue the abducted Chibok school girls and to eradicate terrorism (read letter here). However, despite declarations of behind the scenes efforts, international collaboration, and increased security measures, six months have passed and not one girl has been rescued. To date, 219 girls are still missing, and the 57 girls who escaped, did so on their own. In fact, Boko Haram has abducted additional girls, women and boys since April.

We have taken the issue up using various United Nations and African Commission human rights procedures and continue to keep the discussion going on our networks. On 13 October – following the 11 October international recognition of the Day of the Girl Child -- Equality Now, the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition (SOAWR) and FEMNET, will hold a solidarity vigil to mark six months since the girls’ abduction. The vigil will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, bringing together civil society, expert guest speakers and artists. In addition, 11-18 October will be Global Week of Action. We are not giving up on the girls and we hope you will do the same. Please renew the call to hold the governments accountable and to keep global attention on the issue. Thank you for your support.

It’s been months since heavily armed attackers stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria and abducted nearly 300 girls during the night of 14-15 April. The majority of the schoolgirls have not been seen or heard from since and are feared to have been sold into “marriages” and sexual slavery in Nigeria, and potentially, in neighboring Cameroon and Chad. The militant group, Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates to “Western education is a sin,” reportedly claimed responsibility, stating, “Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married…I will sell them in the marketplace.” In a further alarming development, early in the week of 4 May, suspected Boko Haram gunmen abducted at least eight more girls – some possibly as young as eight years old – from a village in Borno State, Nigeria. On 6 May, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that such human rights violations – selling the abducted girls as slaves – could constitute “crimes against humanity.” However, efforts to rescue the girls have fallen desperately short.

Please join Equality Now and our Nigerian partners, Women's Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, Echoes of Women in Africa, Women for Justice and Peace, and Alliances for Africa, in urgently calling on the Government of Nigeria to:

  • Take immediate action to locate and rescue the girls and provide them with support services upon their return
  • Prosecute those responsible for the girls’ abduction and exploitation
  • Take steps to protect schools from attacks so that they are safe places to learn
  • Immediately institute, in consultation with women’s rights organizations, measures to protect the safety and human rights of women and girls throughout Nigeria, which are further endangered by the volatile political situation in the conflict areas

Also call on the Governments of Cameroon and Chad to swiftly determine whether the girls were transported into their countries and to assist in their rescue.

You can also re-tweet and share messages from our Twitter or Facebook pages in the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Thank you for your support!

Primary Content

President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan

cc: Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations

Comrade Abba Moro

Minister Of Interior

Minister of Defense Aliyu Gusau

Attorney General Mohammed Bello Adoke

Federal Ministry of Justice

Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Reps

National Assembly of Nigeria

Hajiya Zainab Maina

Minister of Women Affairs

Dr. James N. Obiegbu, Permanent Secretary

Federal Ministry of Police Affairs

Senator David Mark, President

Senate of the National Assembly of Nigeria

Letter to Presidents of Cameroon & Chad

Paul Biya, President, Rep of Cameroon

cc: Permanent Mission of Cameroon to the United Nations

Idriss Déby, President of Chad

cc: Permanent Mission of Chad to the United Nations

To learn more about the campaign & for a list of full contact information for the government officials above, see: