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United Nations experts call on Nigeria to ensure release of all those still under Boko Haram captivity

Recalling that over three years after the violent raid in the village of Chibok, 115 of the 276 students abducted are still missing, the experts remain deeply concerned about the plight of the girls still in captivity and their families.

A group of United Nations human rights experts today welcomed the release of 82 Chibok girls from Boko Haram captivity, and called on the Government of Nigeria and the international community to take all necessary steps to ensure the timely release of those under Boko Haram captivity and to provide support to the girls to ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration in full respect of their human rights.

“This is a significant step forward and we commend the Nigerian Government and all those involved in the release of the girls. We hope these girls will be soon reunited with their loved ones,” said the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on the sale of children, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, on slavery, Urmila Bhoola, and on the right to health, Dainius Pûras, who visited* Nigeria in 2016.

“However we must not forget about all the other children and other victims, who continue to live in captivity under Boko Haram control,” the experts said.

Recalling that over three years after the violent raid in the village of Chibok, 115 of the 276 students abducted are still missing, the experts remain deeply concerned about the plight of the girls still in captivity and their families.

“Ensuring the release all those captured is urgent and we cannot allow for anyone to be forgotten,” stressed the experts. In that regard, the Special Rapporteurs urged the Nigerian Government to swiftly take all necessary measures to locate them and ensure their safe return.

Following the release of the latest 82 girls, the human rights experts also re-iterated calls made after 21 girls were freed in October 2016 for all Nigerians to stand strong to support those released. “Release is just a first step in the long journey of recovery and rehabilitation,” the experts underscored.

“The Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders must ensure that the services these girls need, including psycho-social and other health services and information on livelihood opportunities, as well as access to remedies, are available” they noted.

“Moreover,” the United Nations Special Rapporteurs stressed, “Nigeria must hold the perpetrators accountable, while respecting international human rights norms and standards.”

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