Thousands of people, mainly women and children, are scattered across the arid land of Nguigimi, Niger, after fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria. Photo: WFP Niger/Vigno Hounkanli,
Three United Nations human rights experts called on the Government of Nigeria to assist in the rehabilitation and reintegration of women and children who escaped or were liberated from Boko Haram captivity, the UN announced in a news release on Jan. 22. “As the region transits from relief to recovery, it is important to ensure that rehabilitation and reintegration measures are grounded in human rights norms and take into consideration the impact of the regional conflict on women and children,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on sale of children, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio; on contemporary forms of slavery, Urmila Bhoola; and on right to health, Dainius Puras, at the end of an official visit to Nigeria. The Special Rapporteurs commended the initiatives taken so far by the Government, but cautioned that “gaps remain in implementing policies and enforcing laws in a manner that makes a real difference in the lives of all, especially women and children affected by the insecurity and violence in the Northeast.” Noting the progress made in the management of internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, they called for further efforts to ensure that reintegration and rehabilitation programs leave no one behind, wherever they may have settled. “In particular, health systems must be strengthened, so as to meet the physical and mental health needs of both the displaced and the host communities,” the experts stated.
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