UN: Committee on Women Rights urges release of abducted Nigerian school girls

New York, US (PANA) - The UN expert committee tasked with monitoring discrimination against women on Wednesday added its voice to the chorus of condemnation of the abduction of over 200 girls from their school in north-eastern Nigeria and called for their immediate release.

The committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in a statement in New York expressed deep concern about the fate of the girls, who were abducted on 14 April during a violent raid by the militant group known as Boko Haram in the village of Chibok in Borno state.

The committee urged Nigeria to employ all necessary means to obtain the release of the girls and to bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

Its chairperson, Ms. Nicole Ameline, said that the committee considered that this large-scale abduction from an educational institution for enslavement constituted a direct violation of articles 5, 6 and 10 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

She said that the committee monitored worldwide implementation of the convention, noting that the abductions might qualify as a crime against humanity.

She added that according to General Recommendation No. 30, issued by the committee in 2013, States must take measures "to prevent the occurrence of attacks and threats against school girls and their teachers; and ensure that perpetrators of  such acts of violence are promptly investigated, prosecuted and punished".

Meanwhile, the High-Level Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Nigeria, Mr. Said Djinnit, met on Wednesday with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, following meetings on Tuesday with other senior Nigerian government officials.

UN spokesperson, Mr. Stephane Dujarric, who spoke with reporters at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, said in these meetings, Mr. Djinnit explored with his counterparts the role of the UN in supporting Nigerian efforts towards the safe release of the girls.

Mr. Dujaric said that the UN was preparing a package to support the affected families and the girls after their release.

The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr. Yury Fedotov, expressed his "revulsion" at the kidnapping of the girls, and offered his full support to the families and those involved in seeking to ensure their release.

"I hope that those responsible for these appalling acts will be swiftly apprehended, tried and imprisoned," Mr. Fedotov stated.

"It is vital that we send a clear message to all those who would kidnap, sell or buy human beings that we will never tolerate such actions," he said, adding that "working together, we will do everything in our power to bring those involved to justice."
-0- PANA AA/MA 14May2014

14 may 2014 19:22:47

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