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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/24/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The families of kidnapped girls suffer in silence as their ordeal drags out to eight weeks

The faces and names of more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian eight weeks ago have finally been made public, putting faces and names to an international shame. The plight of these schoolgirls point to the massive injustice young women and girls face in seeking an education in developing nations.

There is increased global awareness on crimes committed against young women and girls in developing nations.

There is increased global awareness on crimes committed against young women and girls in developing nations.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/24/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Nigeria, kidnapped, schoolgirlds, education


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Abducted from their school dormitories almost two months ago, each of these students had a future they had planned, coupled with a family anxiously awaiting their release.

"I was shown these pictures after visiting Nigeria this week. I met the leader of the community council in Chibok, the town from which the girls were abducted," Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education says.

Gordon Brown was shown these pictures after visiting Nigeria this week. He met the leader of the com

Gordon Brown was shown these pictures after visiting Nigeria this week. He met the leader of the community council in Chibok, the town from which the girls were abducted. Slowly and with tears in his eyes, he flicked through a file in which he had recorded the names and photographs of the girls.


"The file has 185 pages - one for every girl. Each page has a photograph, and beside each passport-sized picture some stark facts - the girl's name, her school grade and the date of abduction."

The girls' families have given permission for their names and photographs to be put into the public domain so the world is reminded of the missing girls.

The file has 185 pages - one for every girl. Each page has a photograph, and beside each passport-si

The file has 185 pages - one for every girl. Each page has a photograph, and beside each passport-sized picture some stark facts - the girl's name, her school grade and the date of abduction.


There is also a file on the 53 girls who escaped by running for their lives from their Boko Haram kidnappers.

Brown says that many of these students had planned to pursue medical careers in order to help their communities. All of this has been cruelly placed on hold. "They are unable to finish their exams, unable to find a safe place to study near home and are still in fear of another attack from Boko Haram. They have lost a year of their schooling and they are traumatized by the kidnapping of their friends.

"For a teenage girl, eight weeks in captivity could have life-time consequences - and for their families it is torture. The idea that your daughter should go to school one day and never return is every parent's nightmare. Not to know whether they have been molested, trafficked or are even alive is a living hell."

These girls were abducted for the sole reason that their captors believe that girls have no right to

These girls were abducted for the sole reason that their captors believe that girls have no right to an education. Above, a still from a video released by Boko Haram of the teenagers in captivity.


Every young person, be they male or female, has a right to an education, Brown says. "In Britain and in the United States, we do find out. We do learn about abuse and horror from across the globe and we do react. But it's often too late, and then, inevitably, it's always too little. We should not fail young people, but it seems like we always do.

"But we can't forget. We owe them. We can't give up because they won't have given up."

There is increased global awareness on crimes committed against young women and girls in developing nations. The rape, murder and hanging of two young girl cousins in India has prompted dialogue in these nations about women's rights.

The world is also becoming more aware of young girls and boys being pushed into forced labor in mines, in factories, working the fields and in domestic service.

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