Six ways to #BringBackOurGirls in Nigeria

The Nigerian government and those supporting it in the international community could do more to address urgent humanitarian needs and contribute to democracy and rule of law in Nigeria.

6. The missing girls’ families must receive government and legal support

The families of the missing girls must be given the support they deserve. President Goodluck Jonathan should meet with them in private – without the media. He must hear their concerns, feel their frustration, and earn their trust. It’s not just good politics; it’s responsive leadership.

Groups such as the Nigerian Bar Association or the Federation of Women Lawyers could offer pro bono representation to the families as they negotiate the crisis and the government and media attention that come as a result. Since some girls escaped and they need to be debriefed, such assistance could help ensure that their privacy and civil rights are protected. 

A. Carl LeVan is a professor at American University and the author of the forthcoming “Dictators, Democracy and Development in Africa: the Political Economy of Good Governance in Nigeria.” Priscilla Achakpa is executive director of Women Environmental Programme (WEP) and helped organize the #BringBackOurGirls protests in Nigeria.

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