Women’s Right Advancement and Protection Alternative, WRAPA, has urged the Federal Government to take the protection of human rights at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps seriously, especially as it concerns women.
Anisah Ari, Senior Programme Coordinator of WRAPA, made the call on Friday during a news conference in Abuja.
“Issues of human rights violations at the IDP camps has become prevalent and government needs to take urgent steps to check them.
“Government should enhance protection of women in the camps, and perpetrators of such abuses should be brought to book.”
Mrs Ari said that the aim of the conference was to draw attention to the plight of survivors of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East and seek means of alleviating their sufferings.
“The abuse that some of these ladies are subjected to is horrible, and it is sad that they can go through that after surviving abduction.
“Some of them experience “survival sex,” sex for food and even rape. Government needs to wade in and bring perpetrators to book,” she said.
Similarly, Hamsatu Alamin, Founder and Executive Director of Allamin Foundation, based in Borno, decried the stigmatisation and abuse observed at IDP camps.
“There are significant numbers of young women in the IDP camps who are ideological members of the Boko Haram sect; most of them were abducted and married off to fellow insurgents.
“They have been radicalised with some of them trained in handling weapons. When they regain freedom and are taken to the camps, they suffer stigmatisation by both the officials and their fellow IDPs.
“This is dangerous as it can drive them back to the arms of the insurgents,” she said.
One of the rescued abductees, who spoke on condition of anonymity, complained about rejection by the entire society.
“I was abducted and spent two years in Boko Haram captivity; I was able to escape after I had been impregnated and delivered of a baby by the insurgents.
“But I discovered that society is more concerned about the Chibok girls.
“I was also a student before I was abducted, and there are several other young girls in captivity whose education was cut short by the insurgents.
“We all deserve attention and care from government and the society,” she said.