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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Nigeria after the Chibok Abductions: An Update on Human Rights and Governance

Date: 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 1:00pm
Location: 
Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC-215

Announcement

On the eve of the two-year anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram, please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crisis in northern Nigeria.

During the night of April 14, 2014, the extremist insurgency group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from a secondary school in the town of Chibok, Nigeria. Only 57 have escaped and 219 remain missing. These kidnappings were an early example of Boko Haram’s purposeful, ongoing abduction of women and girls. Abducted girls are often forced into marriage or sexual slavery. They are made to carry out attacks, including suicide bombings, often against their own communities. Though the Chibok girls are the most well-known victims, at least 2,000 more women and children have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2014.

In addition to these atrocities, Boko Haram has committed other crimes against humanity in its quest to establish an Islamic state. In areas captured by the group, men and boys are executed or forced to convert and join. Entire villages, towns, and schools have been destroyed. Over 2.3 million people have been displaced. It is estimated that 20,000 people have been killed in the six-year clash between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram. Despite recent successes by the Nigerian military, Boko Haram remains a serious threat in the region.  

This briefing will examine the significance of the Chibok kidnappings and provide an update on the Boko Haram insurgency and its human rights and humanitarian implications. Panelists will discuss the Nigerian response to the abductions, the plight of internally displaced persons and refugees, and challenges the insurgency raises regarding governance and security.

The briefing will be open to members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public and the media. In order to attend you must RSVP by 4/12 @12pm to Stephanie Mellini at Stephanie.Mellini@mail.house.gov.Due to a special event at the Capitol Visitor Center, only those members of the public who have RSVP’d for the briefing will be allowed to enter the building. Members of the public should remember to bring a government-issued I.D.  

For any questions, please contact Stephanie Mellini (for Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or Stephanie.Mellini@mail.house.gov, or Isaac Six (for Rep. Pitts) at 202-225-2411 or Isaac.Six@mail.house.gov.

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Joseph R. Pitts, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC

Participants

Panelists

  • Omolola Adele-Oso, Co-founder and Executive Director, Act4Accountability
  • Nathan Hosler, Director, Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness
  • Madeline Rose, Senior Policy Advisor, Mercy Corps
  • Lauren Ploch Blanchard, Specialist in African Affairs, Congressional Research Service

Moderator

  • Dr. Carl Levan, Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University

Opening Remarks

  • Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, Member, TLHRC
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Member, TLHRC

 Bios [PDF]

Documents

Remarks

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Opening Remarks: Nigeria after the Chibok Abductions: An Update on Human Rights and Governance [PDF]
Omolola Adele-Oso, Statement: Nigeria after the Chibok Abductions: An Update on Human Rights and Governance [PDF] 
Nathan Hosler, Statement: Nigeria after the Chibok Abductions: An Update on Human Rights and Governance [PDF]
Madeline Rose, Statement: Nigeria after the Chibok Abductions: An Update on Human Rights and Governance [PDF]

Background Materials

Background: Boko Haram (The Islamic State's West Africa Province), Congressional Research Service, 12 April 2016 [PDF]
Background: Nigeria, Congressional Research Service, 11 April 2016 [PDF]
Background: Nigeria's Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions, Congressional Research Service, 12 April 2016 [PDF]
Background: Nigeria: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, Congressional Research Service,11 March 2016 [PDF]
Background: "Motivations and Empty Promises": Voices of Former Boko Haram Combatants and Nigerian Youth, Mercy Corps, April 2016 

114th Congress