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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The State of Human Rights in Nigeria

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 1:00pm
1539 Longworth House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the current state of human rights in Nigeria.

In April 2014, the terrorist group Boko Haram, roughly translated to mean “Western education is sin,” kidnapped approximately 270 schoolgirls, ages 15-18, from their boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria. Recently, the attention of the world has turned to this tragedy, as social media campaigns have demanded the girls’ safe return. Sadly, this devastating kidnapping is merely one event in a long list of violence and human rights violations occurring in Nigeria. Villages are being burned, individuals are being kidnapped and innocents are being slaughtered with alarming frequency nearly every day as the insurgent group terrorizes local populations. As the U.S. and international community call for the safe return of the girls to their families, this latest incident must be placed in the broader context of persistent violence and instability in Nigeria.

The panelists will offer a brief background on the conflict in Nigeria, outline the current state of human rights in the country, examine the religious dimension to the ongoing crisis and explore what needs to happen for the people of Nigeria to live in peace and security. 

Hosted by:

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


  • Sarah Margon, Acting Director at Human Rights Watch - Washington
  • Tiffany Lynch, Senior Policy Advisor at United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Lauren Ploch Blanchard, Specialist in African Affairs, Congressional Research Service
  • Professor Carl LeVan, Assistant Professor of International Service, American University
113th Congress