The rehabilitation and reintegration of women and children affected by extremist violence a case study of women and children who escaped or were liberated from Boko Haram captivity - Joint visit to Nigeria

The Special Rapporteurs on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Dainius Puras, on the sale of children, child pornography and child prostitution, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, and on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, Urmila Bhoola, conducted a joint visit to Nigeria from 18 to 22 January 2016 at the invitation of the Government. The aim of the visit was to examine measures taken by the Government and other actors to rehabilitate and reintegrate women and children who escaped or were liberated from Boko Haram captivity.

The plight of those women and children is complex, multifaceted and brings into consideration a broad spectrum of human rights considerations. All three Special Rapporteurs identified areas of deep concern in relation to their respective mandates, including serious abuses of the human rights of women and children and violations of international humanitarian law, and constraints in meeting the obligation to protect and fulfil their human rights.

The Special Rapporteurs have been distressed by the situation of civilians in northeast Nigeria since the beginning of the Boko Haram insurgency and issued press releases in 2014 and 2015 in relation to the abduction of the Chibok girls.

Since delivering their end of mission statement, in January 2016, the three Special Rapporteurs have been following closely the situation in Nigeria and condemned the several attacks of IDP camps by Boko Haram at the beginning of 2016 as well as called for the immediate release of all abducted civilians.

The report on the joint visit was presented to the Human Rights Council, on 14 June 2016, by Mr. Puras during his interactive dialogue with Members of the Council. Ms. Bhoola and Ms. de Boer-Buquicchio were able to further intervene and provide additional details on the mission. The general summary in two parts of the interactive dialogue as well as its webcast in three parts are available through the respective links. A side event was also organized on 13 June to bring further attention to the conclusions and recommendations of the report.