ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE United Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, has called on the country’s authorities and the international community to act urgently to ensure the protection of thousands of refugees in the northeast.
This follows the conclusion of his four-day visit to Nigeria, which ended Monday.
“The Government must act urgently to ensure that food, shelter, medical care, water, sanitation and other essential services reach IDPs without delay,” he said.
The Special Rapporteur also expressed concern at the lack of international attention and resources to meet the needs in the region, and called on donors to provide support to meet immediate needs as well as to enhance their long-term support in the region.
According to a recent report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Children on the Move, Children Left Behind, in addition to 2,6 million people currently displaced in the Lake Chad region because of the violence, some 2,2 million people are feared to be trapped in areas under the control of Boko Haram and need humanitarian assistance.
Highlighting the direness of the situation in the camps, he spoke of reports of women and girls facing demands for sex to access food or to leave the camps and that early pregnancy and marriage are commonplace.
“Many do not report abuse due to stigmatization, cultural factors and the knowledge that perpetrators can abuse with impunity,” he noted, calling for protection measures to be stepped-up and camps to be quickly placed under trained civilian management to prevent abuses.”
The Boko Haram has killed over 20 000 and displaced some 3 million people.
– CAJ News