It’s almost a month since 274 girls were brutally abducted from their beds in the dead of night in Nigeria. They were piled into the back of lorries and transported, like livestock, to be sold into a lifetime of child slavery, rape and forced marriage. A barbaric practice that affects 10 million children worldwide. Some reports cast doubt on whether the girls will ever be found alive.
Yet, this mass kidnapping has only hit the headlines in the last few days. What took so long to break this story and why are the children’s parents living in fear of their lives for speaking out? In theory this has all the hallmarks of a headline grabber. Anyone who has children or a heart could relate to this heinous crime, yet it didn’t make the grade.
Protestations of the remoteness of the locality don’t bear scrutiny. The story was known but it took social media, rather than mainstream media to break it. Once broken, momentum was slow. It gathered pace once pictures of grieving parents were beamed across the globe and outrage began to grow about the lack of urgency or apparent strategy to rescue the girls.
Is it that the abduction of 274 girls doesn’t seem to matter or is it that the abduction of 274 African girls doesn’t seem to matter? One thing is for sure, if this happened in California or Cornwall, it wouldn’t take a month for it to make the news.
I’ll be supporting the “Bring Back Our Girls” Campaign and lobbying for the safe return of those 274 children to the arms of their distraught parents. I hope you will too.
* A Note to my readers in Nigeria: If you have any information you think I could help to disseminate please get in touch via my website: www.tessfinchlees.com. Many thanks.