Statement on the Abduction of More Than 300 Children in Nigeria


The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), through Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, the Country Rapporteur About Human Rights in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, follows with distress reports of another incident of mass abduction that occurred on March 7, 2024. 

Reports reaching the African Commission stated that a group of armed men abducted 280 school children and teachers from two schools in Kuriga, Kaduna State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on 7 March 2024. This mass abduction followed another incident involving the abduction of 15 school children from Sokoto, also in northern Nigeria . 

The African Commission deplores this heinous act of violence targeting mostly children and their places of learning and condemns it as constituting grave violations of human and people’s guaranteed in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter). 

The African Commission expresses grave concern that the nature and scale of these abductions curtail a wide range of rights and freedoms including the right to protection of the integrity of the person under Article 4, the right to liberty and security of the person under Article 6, freedom of conscience under Article 8, freedom of movement under Article 12, the right to education under Article 17, the right to protection of the family under Article 18 and the right to peace and security under Article 23 of the African Charter. 

The African Commission thus urges : 
1)The Government of Nigeria to mobilize all the required resources for a sustained and robust effort towards the urgent and safe return of all those abducted during these recent attacks; 
2)Those who abducted the innocent children and teachers to ensure the safety and security of all those that they have abducted and to recognize they bear responsibility; 
3)All sections of society to extend their full collaboration and support for the efforts for the secure return of all those abducted; 
4)The Government of Nigeria to mobilize all sectors of society at all levels of the structures of the state for galvanising collective action to bolster safety and security and the protection of citizens from these recurring acts of abductions; and 
5)The Government of Nigeria to institute an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding these abductions with a view to ensure the prevention of their recurrence and establish the accountability of those responsible. 

The Commission will maintain its close monitoring of the situation and expresses its full solidarity with the families and communities from whose these innocent children and teachers have been abducted. The Commission also supports the endeavours of the Government and people of Nigeria towards the safe return of the abducted and establish conditions that eliminate acts of abductions.

Done this 10 March 2024

Honourable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso
Country Rapporteur About Human Rights in the Federal Republic of Nigeria