Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member on the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the letter she recently sent to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding her deep concern regarding the plight of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from the Chibok Girls Secondary School in Chibok, in Nigeria:
“I am extremely concerned by the abduction last month of some 200 girls who were taken from their school hostel in Chibok, Borno State, in Nigeria. My heart goes out to their families, and I am praying that they will soon be united with their children. I have asked Secretary John Kerry and the State Department to exercise every means available to assist in the safe and speedy recovery of the missing girls, including enlisting the aid of the African Union.
“Children’s rights are human rights, and these types of attacks, specifically targeting of schools, are strictly prohibited under international law and cannot be justified under any circumstances. Schools are places of refuge and safety, where children should be allowed to learn and grow without fearing harm coming to them. Girls and young women around the world absolutely must be allowed to go to school peacefully and free from intimidation, persecution and all other forms of discrimination.
“I call on whoever is responsible for abducting or continuing to hold these girls to release them immediately and unharmed. The abductors must ensure these young women return home safely, where they rightfully belong.”
Michael J. McQuerry