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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the mass displacement of children in Nigeria as a result of Boko Haram attacks

6.10.2015 - (2015/2876(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Petras Auštrevičius, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Martina Dlabajová, Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Urmas Paet, Frédérique Ries, Marietje Schaake, Pavel Telička, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ivo Vajgl, Filiz Hyusmenova, Nathalie Griesbeck, Nedzhmi Ali, Philippe De Backer, Marielle de Sarnez, Gérard Deprez, Fredrick Federley, Ivan Jakovčić, Kaja Kallas, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Louis Michel, Javier Nart, Jozo Radoš, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Cecilia Wikström, Marian Harkin, Valentinas Mazuronis on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1003/2015

Postopek : 2015/2876(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the mass displacement of children in Nigeria as a result of Boko Haram attacks


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Nigeria, in particular to the one of 30 April 2015,


- having regard to the statement by the President of the Security Council of the UN on 28 July 2015,


- having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,


- having regard to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security adopted on 31 October 2000,


- having regard to the United Nations (UN) (1990) and Organization of African Unity (OAU) (1990) charter on rights and welfare of the child,


- having regard to the 2003 Child Rights Act signed into law by the federal government of Nigeria,


- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,


- having regard to the African Union Convention on the Prevention and fight against terrorism, ratified by Nigeria on 16 May 2003, and the Additional Protocol, ratified by Nigeria on 22 December 2008,


- having regard to Article 135 of the Rules.


A. Whereas Nigeria, the most populous and biggest economy in Africa has become since 2009 the battlefield of Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group who swore allegiance to Daesh; whereas the Nigerian security forces failed to tackle the insurgency and have often used excessive force and committed abuses during military operations;


B. Whereas since the emergence of Boko Haram insurgency, its deliberate behaviour specially against schoolboys and schoolgirls in the area has deprived children of access to education: 10.5 million children of primary school age in Nigeria are not attending school , -the highest figure in the world, according to UNESCO figures, whereas, like al-Shabaab in Somalia, Aqmi, Mujao and Ansar Dine in North Mali and Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Boko Haram targets children and women who receive an education;

C. Whereas Nigeria has succeeded in carrying out a mostly peaceful presidential and gubernatorial election despite the threats of Boko Haram to disturb the ballot;

D. Whereas the then called Boko Haram has abducted more than 1000 women and girls in Nigeria since 2009, among which the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, north east of the country on 14 April 2014, which captivated the entire world and provoked an international campaign (“Bring back our Girls”) to rescue them , whereas almost a year and half after then, more than 200 girls captured in that incident remain disappeared;

E. Whereas many more children have since gone missing, abducted or recruited to serve as fighters, house workers, the girls are subjected to rape and enforced marriage, whereas since April 2015,   some 300 others girls and women were rescued by the Nigerian security forces from terrorists stronghold and about 60 others who could escape their captors from another location described their life in captivity to Human Rights Watch as made of daily violence and terror, physical and psychological abuses;

F. Whereas more than 1.5 million people are displaced, including 800,000 children, 23,000 of them separated from their parents, forced from their home by the violence, running to save their lives, inside Nigeria or crossing over borders to Cameroon, Chad and Niger, UNICEF says;

G. Whereas the number of attacks by Boko Haram has risen in Nigeria as well as in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger; whereas Boko Haram continues to abduct children an women to carry explosive devices, using them without their knowing as suicide bombers ; whereas some of those who had sought refuge on the Chadian side pieces of land in Lake Chad were targeted again by the same terrorists on Chadian soil ;

H. Whereas UNICEF, together with governments and partners in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, is increasing its operations to assist thousands of children and their families in the region with access to safe water, education, counselling and psychological support, as well as vaccinations and treatment for severe acute malnutrition;

I. Whereas number of the abducted women and girls who were rescued or have escaped or have been freed, return home pregnant and in dire need of reproductive and maternal health care, others lack access to basic post-rape health screening, post-traumatic care, social support and rape counselling, according to HRW; whereas the European Commission has stated that where the pregnancy causes unbearable suffering, women must have access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services based on their medical condition, including abortion, and therefore asserting that international humanitarian law shall in any case prevail.


1. Strongly condemns Boko Haram crimes, including suicide bombing in Chad and Cameroon, terrorist raids on Niger, stands with its victims and conveys its condolences to all the families who lost loved ones; denounces the ongoing relentless violence in the Nigerian States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa and other cities of the country;


2. Calls on the President and his newly (30/09/2015) appointed federal government to adopt strong measures to protect civilian population and put special emphasis on protection of women and girls, to make women’s rights and children’s rights a priority when fighting extremism, to provide help for victims and to prosecute those responsible, to ensure women’s participation in decision-making at all levels ;


3. Welcomes the change in military leadership and requires that all the human rights abuses and crimes committed by both sides of terrorists and Nigerian security forces to be investigated in order to address the lack of accountability noticed under the former presidency;


4. Urges the President of the Federal Republic to address the challenges to keep all campaign promises and latest statements of which the most important are defeating the terrorist threat, making the respect for human rights and humanitarian law a central pillar of military operations, bringing back the Chibok girls and all the abducted women and children alive and unharmed, addressing the ever growing problem of malnutrition and fighting corruption and impunity to deter future abuses and work towards justice for every victim ;


5. Urges the Nigerian authorities and the international community to work closely and increase efforts in reversing the continuous trend leading to further displacement of people;


6. Urges the international community to help Nigeria and neighbouring countries who host refugees, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, to give all necessary medical and psychological assistance to those in need; appeals the authorities in the sub region for ease of access to safe abortion for women and girls who had been raped; stresses the need of the implementation of an universal standard for the treatment of war rape victims and ensuring the primacy of international humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict; expresses its full sympathy to the women and children survivors of the blind terrorism of Boko Haram; calls for the establishment of specialized education programmes directed to women and children victims of war, which would aim at help them overcome the terror lived, give appropriate and comprehensive information, and help them to become a valuable member of the society;


7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, The Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the representatives of the ECOWAS and the African Union.