On April 14th, armed members of the terrorist group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls during a raid at an all-girls school in the northeast village of Chibok, Nigeria; reports indicate that the girls are being sold as wives for $12 each in a massive, brazen act of human trafficking
During a speech on the Senate floor today, Klobuchar called on the Administration to immediately provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to help locate and recover the kidnapped girls
Klobuchar: “This is a test of our country’s commitment to fight human trafficking and modern-day slavery”
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today called for immediate international assistance to help find more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian girls. On April 14th, armed members of the terrorist group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls during a raid at an all-girls school in the northeast village of Chibok, Nigeria. Reports indicate that the girls are being sold as wives for $12 each in a massive, brazen act of human trafficking. During a speech on the Senate floor, Klobuchar called on the Administration to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to help locate and recover the kidnapped girls and to bolster the capacity of Nigeria and neighboring states to protect children, particularly girls, and combat human trafficking.
“The girls abducted and apparently being sold into forced marriages in Nigeria are as young as fifteen, not even old enough drive here in the United States. And with Boko Haram’s leader now appearing on video vowing to ‘sell them in the market,’ let’s call this what it is: one of the most brazen and shocking single incidents of human trafficking we’ve seen in recent memory,” Klobuchar said. “This heinous crime demands that we take action immediately to help bring these girls home and bring their kidnappers to justice. This is a test of our country’s commitment to fight human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and we must step up to the challenge.”
On April 14, Boko Haram abducted 276 girls ages 15-18 from their school in Chibok, Nigeria. According to witnesses, members of Boko Haram abducted the girls from their school dormitories and forced them into trucks that drove toward the forest near the Cameroon border. Today, Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in a video that the organization was responsible for kidnapping the girls and that they would sell them. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful,” has a history of systematically targeting schools and kidnapping and killing children.
Klobuchar has been a leader in the effort to fight sex trafficking both in the U.S. and around the world. Klobuchar recently led a delegation to Mexico to meet with government and non-profit leaders to push for coordinated efforts to combat sex trafficking in Mexico and the United States. She also recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would give prosecutors tools to crack down on domestic minor sex trafficking and ensure victims of these horrific crimes receive the support they need. The Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act is modeled after Minnesota’s “Safe Harbor” laws that help ensure minors sold for sex aren’t prosecuted as criminals but are instead treated as victims. The bill also allows victims of sex trafficking to participate in the Job Corps program to help them get back on their feet, and would create a National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking to encourage cooperation among all the federal, state, and local agencies that work on this problem. A full summary of the Senators’ legislation can be found here.
For broadcast-quality video of Senator Klobuchar’s remarks, click here.