“Those Terrible Weeks in their Camp” Boko Haram Violence against Women and Girls in Northeast Nigeria - Human Rights Watch

This report is based on interviews with more than 46 witnesses and victims of Boko Haram abductions in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, including with girls who escaped the April 2014 abduction of 276 girls from Chibok secondary school. Their statements suggest that the Nigerian government has failed to adequately protect women and girls from a myriad of abuses, provide them with effective support and mental health and medical care after captivity, ensure access to safe schools, or investigate and prosecute those responsible for the abuses.

Country / Region: 
Thematic Focus: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Human Rights
Date of Paper: 
Monday, October 27, 2014
Organization / institution website: 
Contact person email: 
Contact person phone number: 
Responsible for submission: 
Sarah Taylor
Strategic recommendation(s): 
  • Provide access to adequate medical and mental health services to victims of abduction and other violence; develop confidential referral systems and health posts in high-risk areas, such as large or isolated internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps, which can facilitate referrals and access to emergency treatment for women who are victims of sexual violence.
  • Ensure that support to the Nigerian government forms part of a fully integrated strategy aimed at assisting all of the victims of abductions and sexual abuse through prosecutions of those responsible, the provision of comprehensive support to victims, and action to strengthen the rights of women and girls.
  • Any military strategy to rescue any abducted civilian must be planned with critical human rights and protection concerns in mind to protect the right to life of all civilians including any who risk being caught up in the crossfire.