On the night of 14th April 2014, over 270 female students were abducted from their hostel at the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. Some girls managed to escape or have subsequently been released, but 113 still remain captive.
Thousands of children missing
While the worst of the nightmare is now over for the families of the freed girls, it should be remembered that thousands of other girls, and boys, have disappeared across the Lake Chad region over the past seven years.
Many remain captive, subject to abuse at the hands of Boko Haram including forced marriage, sexual violence and slavery. Plan International expresses its deepest solidarity with all the children, particularly adolescent girls, who have been targeted by Boko Haram.
We are calling for the immediate release of those still held captive.
Supporting the survivors
Girls who return to their communities after escaping capture, often with children, face stigma and exclusion. Plan International has been working with such girls in Nigeria to provide them with psychosocial support and access to health services.
We are also helping them to integrate back into their communities by providing educational opportunities and training in new livelihoods.
We commend the Nigerian government and other agencies for securing the girls’ release and we urge them to redouble their efforts to secure the release of other kidnapped children.
We are pushing for an environment of safety, resilience and non-violence in Nigeria where children can enjoy their basic freedoms and human rights.
Child protection in emergencies
During emergencies, children can become orphaned, separated from their families, recruited into armed groups, sexually abused, trafficked or, often, several of these at the same time.