Today, Congressmember Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa, released the following statement following the kidnapping on April 15 of more than 200 female students by Boko Haram from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria:
"I am extremely concerned by the abduction last month of some 200 girls who were taken from their school hostel in Chibok, Borno State, in Nigeria. My heart goes out to their families, and I am praying that they will soon be united with their children.
"Children's rights are human rights, and these types of attacks, specifically targeting of schools, are strictly prohibited under international law and cannot be justified under any circumstances. Schools are places of refuge and safety, where children should be allowed to learn and grow without fearing harm coming to them. Girls and young women around the world absolutely must be allowed to go to school peacefully and free from intimidation, persecution and all other forms of discrimination.
"I call on whoever is responsible for abducting or continuing to hold these girls to release them immediately and unharmed. The abductors must ensure these young women return home safely, where they rightfully belong."