Just last month, 230 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped right out of the classroom in one of the biggest and most terrifying instances of human trafficking in recent history. They were kidnapped by the Islamist group Boko Haram, who have been responsible for many kidnappings, church bombings, and other terrorist attacks throughout the country. Other girls have been kidnapped since then totaling almost 300 girls.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been entirely unsuccessful in his attempt to retrieve the girls, which has largely undermined his standing with the people of Nigeria. People are beginning to grow increasingly impatient with the Nigerian government’s inability to locate these girls. Families of the victims mourn as their optimism is fading. Many believe they will never see their loved ones again. Nigeria has looked to other countries for help, especially to the U.S. since Nigeria does not have the military might or resources to bring these girls home safely.
The leader of the Islamist group responsible for the kidnapping, Abubakar Shekau, has taken responsibility and has released a video in which he stated that he will sell the girls as slaves in the “marketplace.” This group has been warned by The United Nations that there is an absolute prohibition against slavery and sexual slavery in international law.
The Nigerian government has confirmed that a military operation has been launched with international backing to retrieve these girls. The government has also indicated that it is ready to negotiate with Boko Haram. However, foreign countries have expressed disapproval with the Nigerian government. Many people feel that much more can be done in the effort to find these girls. President Obama released a statement in which he claimed that he will do everything in his power to bring these girls home.
This event casts a light on the issue of human trafficking, which is often kept out of the lime light. More needs to be done worldwide to curb this problem, which is one of the biggest crimes against human dignity that exists today.