End Exploitation, Kidnapping, and Terrorizing of School Kids

Target: Gordon Brown, United Nations Envoy for Global Education

Goal: Support plan of action to end mass abduction of Nigeria’s schoolchildren.

Imagine sitting in class on a peaceful day, learning and occasionally daydreaming. Then imagine that peace suddenly shattered as gangs of armed men storm the classroom, dragging you away from everything you once knew. At best, you may endure days of uncertainty and fear as you await your release for ransom. At the very worst, you will begin a torturous odyssey that includes years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. You will essentially become a slave, and you may never lay eyes on your loved ones again. This latter horrific fate has become the tragic reality for hundreds of schoolchildren in Nigeria.

The latest atrocity took place when an estimated 100 terrorists abducted over 300 girls from their school dormitories at night.  A witness recounted: “after gathering all of them, the girls were crying, and they took them away to the forest. They were also shooting in the air as they were marching to the forest.” While dozens of boys were returned in a different recent kidnapping, these abducted girls remain missing.

Since the high-profile mass kidnapping of a few hundred girls in Chibok several years ago (many of whom are still captive), such incidents have occurred with troubling frequency. Reports emerge of hostage children being sold into sexual slavery and marriage, being radicalized into “soldiers,” and many even dying during their captivity. Despite the prevalence of these abuses, little has been done to protect the children. A Safe Schools Initiative merely included the building of some fences, a surplus of which were not even built in highly endangered regions. The government has given in to ransom demands rather than developing a concrete and forceful plan of action.

Sign the petition below to demand truly safe schools that can protect children from exploitation and terror.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Brown,

“The government must do all in its powers to bring back our daughters.” This plea from a frantic parent has been repeated in some form too many times over the past decade. Hundreds of schoolchildren in Nigeria have been abducted, terrorized, and abused. For such a sizeable number the agony has not ended.

You invested in and supported the Safe Schools Initiative, but clearly more involved and meaningful action is needed.  Although the nation’s government may deny it, reports of ransoms and even amnesty given to kidnappers compounds and fuels the crisis. Little initiative is taken by military forces to rescue these children. Schools, meanwhile, are left with “defenses” that amount to possible fencing and a single security guard.

Please advocate for stronger international aid and support that can help develop a true plan of protection for these kids. No child should have to attend school in fear for their lives or plagued by the possibility that they may never return home.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Habibu Iliyasu


One Comment

  1. Paula Morgan says:

    These men are sex traffickers? They certainly appear to be such. What kind of country would allow this to happen? These are children. Yet these men feel it is just fine to rape these children and sell them as well. A child needs to attend school but these men have no business there, kidnapping children for money and their pleasure. Sex and money and children. Something is very wrong with this equation.

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