BRING BACK OUR GIRLS!
STATEMENT ON THE MORE THAN 200 NIGERIAN SCHOOL GIRLS ABDUCTED
SACCAWU joins the international outrage to the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram fundamentalist terroristic lunatics and echo the words of millions across Africa and beyond; BRING BACK OUR GIRLS!
We condemn the cowardly act by Boko Haram who are using children to fight their battle. Boko Haram has also made it clear that they will sell off the girls. This implies that they would either sell them as part human trafficking, forced child marriages, child labour and/or slaves. The conflict in Nigeria is not the making of these schoolgirls, yet they are paying the price. One can just imagine the depression, horror and trauma of these girls and also of their families.
The abduction and subsequent terror inflicted upon the girls is a gross violation of the children and human rights of the girls, who have a right to education, to be safe in the schools and to enjoy the freedoms enjoyed by all in society. Children who are vulnerable in our society, who need our protection are being abused and used as fodder to in this conflict situation, and this cannot be allowed to go unpunished.
SACCAWU condemns this cowardly and barbaric act and join the campaign to safely BRING BACK OUR GIRLS to their families.
We share the words of Comrade Graca Machel:
“We send them waves of love and comfort, to warm their hearts and dry their tears. We pray for them and look forward to the day when they will embrace their parents and families at home. We send them waves of energy to keep their inner selves strong and resilient. When the dark night in the forest is overwhelming, they must lift their eyes to the sky. The stars are watching over them. They must not lose hope and they must not succumb to fear and despair, even in the most adverse of circumstances they find themselves in.”
We hold the parents and families in our hearts and let them know, the pain they suffer is our pain too.
And yes if the world could garner the resources they did in such a short space of time for the missing Malaysian flight with 239 passengers on board, surely the world should be able to do the same to find and return these school girls to their homes and families.
We echo the views of Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, this is not an isolated act, but rather is born out of the politics of impunity in the fabric of Nigerian and many other governments’ political landscapes. The failure to act and prosecute corruption, political violence and control by Multinational Co operations. We believe the Nigerian government should act more decisively against such excesses.
We thus call on the:
- Nigerian Government to step up efforts to free the girls and provide measures to keep schools a safe space;
International Governments and agencies to increase the pressure to bring the girls home;
- Trade Unions and Civil Society organisations to join the campaign to free the girls;
- International community, Continental and International multilateral bodies, to make all the necessary resources available to find and return these girls to their homes and families.
BRING BACK THE SCHOOLGIRLS
CHILDREN HAVE A RIGHT TO EDUCATION AND SECURITY.