PR: SAFE RETURN OF NIGERIAN SCHOOLGIRLS URGED
COMMONWEALTH YOUTH NEW ZEALAND
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12 May 2014
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand (CYNZ) stands with the international community in its condemnation of the abduction of over 270 girls in Nigeria by militant group, Boko Haram, and stands in solidarity with the friends and families of the kidnapped girls.
“The kidnapping of these innocent school girls is absolutely abhorrent. Commonwealth Youth New Zealand condemns the actions of Boko Haram and hopes that their actions are dealt with in an appropriate manner when they are found”, said CYNZ Executive Director, Aaron Hape.
“This is not just a diplomatic issue, but also a women’s and children’s rights issue and a blatant attack on the right to education.”
CYNZ believes that education is essential for the development of human potential. Schools are strongholds of knowledge and allow young people to explore and question their surroundings. Schools foster friendships, positive communication, and personal development critical to creating an active citizenry. They are also a safe-house, offering protection from harm. Boko Haram has violated all of these extremely important values.
These incidents put a spotlight on broader issues which need to be addressed in order for meaningful change to occur in Nigeria. Societal and ideological attitudes must be addressed – only 45% of the population believe women should have equal rights to men. The people of Nigeria must be encouraged to address these issues in order to move forward for the betterment of their families and societies.
CYNZ urges Commonwealth member states to condemn the actions of Boko Haram, to publicly express the atrocious actions which are currently taking place, and to publicly condemn human trafficking. CYNZ also urges its counterpart organisations in other Commonwealth countries to express similar sentiments.