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Since 2014, Boko Haram has employed sexual violence as a weapon of war and used the kidnapping of young schoolgirls to propagate their extremist anti-western education rhetoric. Many were abducted from schools, from their parent’s homes, from farms and markets, and other public places. In captivity they were subjected to rape, incest, forced marriages, forced pregnancies, sexual slavery, and other forms of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). The violence carried out by Boko Haram and its splinter group, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), has led to the death of more than 36,000 people, and the internal displacement of more than 2.1 million others. 

After escaping or being rescued, the women and girls are seen as tainted and often referred to as “Boko Haram wives”. Their children (born to Boko Haram fighters) are cast off, not to be touched and not allowed to associate with other children, which has a devastating impact on their capacity to access education.

To address the dire needs of these women and their children, we partnered with CGE and YIAT in July 2022 to begin planning an interim reparative measures project. Thus far, our partners have assessed survivors’ priorities, perspectives, and needs. There was an overwhelming call for education, both for the young women who were unable to finish their education, and for their children. While the project focuses on education, it also includes other interim reparative measures like compensation, medical and psychosocial support, and livelihood support.

We chose to partner with CGE because of their extensive experience in providing education. With YIAT, we will mobilise communities and advocate on behalf of the girls and women to mitigate the stigmatisation so many survivors face.

Alongside the interim reparative measures project, GSF is also partnering with the development Research and Projects Centre to produce a Global Reparations Study for Nigeria. The study will be completed with survivor participants in order to analyse the opportunities and challenges for reparation in Nigeria’s northeast. 

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