Bring Back Our Girls

His Excellency the President of Nigeria
Mr GoodLuck Jonathan
c/o Ambassador of Nigeria to the UN
Prof. U. Joy Ogwu
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN
828 Second Ave.
New York, NY 10017
Athens, 15th May 2014
Your Excellency President GoodLuck Jonathan,

I write to you in my capacity as President of the International Alliance of Women an International non – governmental organisation that has since 1947 general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and works for the promotion of women’s human rights all over the world.

We are extremely concerned by the recent abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls 12 to 17 years old who were taken from their school hostel in Chibock, Borno State in Nigeria on the night of 14 th April by Boko Haram, an Islamist group of armed extremists.

We are appalled by this brutal and heinous act and reports that the girls maybe trafficked to neighbouring states and sold into child marriage.

This horrific act offends our common humanity and has created global outrage and action. These girls were targeted for the simple reason that they went to school. They were exercising their right to education.

The right for girls to access education is guaranteed by international law namely the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention of the Rights of the child and the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women.

The right to education of girls should not be abridged by intimidation, persecution and crime. Girls and young women must be allowed to go to school without fear of violence and unjust treatment so that they can become equal citizens of the world. Attacks against children and the targeting of schools cannot be justified under any circumstances. They are prohibited under international law and should be condemned by all.
Schools are and must remain places of safety and security where children can learn in peace and fully develop their personalities so that they can participate equally into public and civic life.

We urge you to undertake immediate action and work expeditiously to locate and rescue the missing schoolgirls, bring to justice those responsible for their abduction and exploitation and take measures to protect the safety and human rights of girls throughout the country.

If you do not respond effectively, those who violate the rights of women and girls in your country will continue their crimes, thus undermining the future of women and girls in Nigeria as well as the future of the country.

Joanna Manganara
International Alliance of Women