Press Release on the alleged abduction of school girls in Yobe State, Federal Republic of Nigeria

    1 March 2018, Banjul, the Republic of The Gambia

    The Country Rapporteur for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, Honourable Commissioner Lucy Asuagbor, and the Chairperson of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Honourable Commissioner Jamesina King of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the ACHPR), strongly condemn the abduction of over 100 school girls in a local school in Yobe State by Boko Haram on Monday 19 February 2018.

    According to reports, Armed fighters, believed to be Boko Haram militants, showed up with trucks and kidnapped scores of female students in a local school in Yobe State. Further reports indicate that the Yobe State Government however rescued over 50 of the abducted schoolgirls.

    While commending the Government of  Yobe State for the efforts made in rescuing some of the girls as reported, the ACHPR notes that this abduction does not only amount to acts of violence against these girls, but also a violation to their right of education, amongst others.

    The Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) prohibits violence against women and guarantees women’s rights to dignity, life, integrity, security and freedom from discrimination. While the Maputo Protocol outlines legislative measures required to address violence against women, it also obligates States to investigate the violence, punish perpetrators, and provide remedies, such as access to justice and reparation, as well as provide shelters and medical care.

    The abduction of schoolgirls while they were at school prevents them from pursuing their education and exposes them to incapacities which could hinder their ability to fully enjoy the right to education. The abduction also threatens the right to education of other students as the fear of being abducted could deter them from going to school and prevent other stakeholders involved in the education sector from delivering on their contribution to the right to education.

    The ACHPR also highlights that education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women, which supports the famous African adage that If you educate a boy, you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl, you educate a family (nation).” Girl education is therefore paramount to development and in this regard, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has the prime responsibility to ensure that girls have access to education and stay in school.  

    The right to education is enshrined in regional human rights instruments. In particular, Article 17 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter); Article 12 of the Maputo Protocol), and Article 11 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which guarantee the right to education, and also establish State Parties’ obligations to realize this right. In addition, the ACHPR’s Resolution ACHPR/Res. 346 (LVIII) of 2016, adopted at its 58th Ordinary Session urges State Parties to guarantee the full scope of the right to education.  The Guidelines and Principles on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the African Charter, identify safety of students at school and on their way to and from school as an important component of the right to education to be guaranteed by State Parties.

    The ACHPR therefore urges the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to continue its efforts to ensure the release of the remaining school girls abducted in Yobe State and the remaining Chibok girls abducted by the Boko Haram militants in April 2014. The ACHPR also urges the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take steps to ensure the safety of students at school and on their way to and from school.

    The ACHPR takes this opportunity to once again remind the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of its obligations under the African Charter, the Maputo Protocol, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and other regional and International human rights instrument that it is a party to.


    Honourable Commissioner Lucy Asuagbor (Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa and country Rapporteur for the Federal Republic of Nigeria) of the ACHPR

    Honourable Commissioner Jamesina King (Chairperson of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) of the ACHPR

      Properties

      Date: 01 March 2018

      Links


      Translate page

      Contact Us

      • 31 Bijilo Annex Layout, Kombo North District
      • Western Region P.O. Box 673 Banjul
      • The Gambia
      • Tel: (220) 441 05 05, 441 05 06
      • Fax: (220) 441 05 04
      • E-mail: au-banjul@africa-union.org

      ACHPR Newsletter

      Subscribe to receive news about activities, sessions and events.
      © 2018 African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights