It has been over five months since the kidnapping of more than 270 Nigerian school-girls and the northern Nigerian town of Chibok has not been at rest. Five months later the question still is where are the girls and why aren’t we reading news coverage on them?
Family, friends and community of Chibok that has to deal with the unanswered questions. Eleven of the parents have reported dying from the stress of trauma of the kidnapping of their children. Seven of the girls’ fathers were killed in a militant attack recently near their hometown of Chibok, and at least four other parents have died from heart failure and other illnesses that the community attributes to trauma from the girls’ abduction. The trauma of the girls kidnapping has impacted not only families, but an entire community that we rarely hear.
And the twitter movement #bringbackourgirls has also faded. The media has turned their attention to the recent beheadings in the Middle East and ISIS, the Suni jihadist group in the Middle East terrorist groups and the girls have been left to fight a battle they won’t win without our attention.
Boko Haram continues to kidnap children and school girls in particular. The terrorist group abducted the Nigerian school girls to marry them off and use them as hostage tactics. And while 57 of the girls have managed to escape not one has been rescued. They were reported to have been located months ago, yet a deal to free the girls has fallen apart three different times in one month.
But have we given Boko Haram more attention than to the Nigerian school girls?
The push continues to be made in congress. California representative Barbara Lee has become very outspoken on this issue in hopes of shining a light on the much attention to stamp out modern day slavery and human trafficking in all forms. She says it’s not only a Nigerian problem it’s a world crisis.
Human trafficking continues to be an issue around the world from the U.S. to Africa to Asia. A report from the UNDC worldwide states that almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children (with up to 100% in West Africa where Nigeria located). Men kidnapping children is become an everyday reality for many people and communities. It’s an injustice to these girls not be advocated for in the media.
Florida representative Frederica Wilson continues to push the #bringbackourgirls campaign. While Obama has said the immediate priority is finding the girls, more of the focus has been placed on dealing with the Boko Haram group. Once again, why are the girls not the center of this issue?
These girls voices continue to get lost in our society because we move onto something that is more news worthy. These girls and families deserve a bigger and better fight for their dignity and freedom. Too often we allow the terrorist more attention in the media than speaking out for the survivors and victims. Lets #bringoutgirlsback.