The Center for Reproductive Rights and Legal Defense and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has said that of the 2.2 million internally displaced persons in Nigeria, 1.17 million are women, while 510,555 are girls of reproductive age. .
LEDAP, a non-governmental organization, NGO made the disclosure in a report entitled “The conflict in Northeast Nigeria, the impact on the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls” that it made available to journalists in Abuja during the end of week, attributing the situation to the persistent insurgency and insecurity in the northeast of the country.
It stated that sexual exploitation, HIV transmission, inadequate access to sexual and reproductive health services, maternal deaths and injuries are among the impacts of the conflict on women and girls.
The NGO added that demands for transactional sex to access food and non-food items are common, inadequate assistance to internally displaced persons in host communities and camps had greatly exacerbated the violations.
The report also uncovered serious challenges that continued to take an unbearable toll on women and girls in conflict zones, citing as an example inadequate access to sexual and reproductive health services, including contraceptives, leading to unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
She also regretted the absence of psychosocial counseling for related trauma, which she claimed has resulted in maternal injuries and deaths in some cases.
Senior Councilor for Africa, Center for Reproductive Rights, Onyema Afulukwe condemned the epidemic of exploitation and abuse
“Unfortunately, women and girls who have suffered reproductive health and rights violations due to conflict do not have meaningful access to justice due to weak accountability mechanisms in conflict zones, despite protection Human rights is guaranteed by national, regional and international laws that Nigeria bound by. Nigeria must now prioritize legal and institutional mechanisms to address these violations, ”Afulukwe said.
In addition, the National Coordinator, LEDAP, Chinonye Obiagwu (SAN) stated that many of the women and girls have suffered serious maternal injuries.
“Many women and girls who have been sexually abused by insurgents have lost pregnancies. Those who did not eventually gave birth without qualified assistance while camping on the roads, while seeking shelter under trees, in abandoned buildings and in military detention centers. Many suffered serious maternal injuries and others died.
“The Nigerian government must take immediate steps to comply with international and regional human rights obligations regarding access to maternal health care, abortion and related services for survivors of sexual violence,” he said.
The report also noted that the lack of basic necessities such as food, shelter and education for children in IDP camps and host communities was also a problem of seismic proportions.
It will be recalled that the Charter for the African Child urges States to eliminate harmful social and cultural practices that affect the well-being, dignity, normal growth and development of African children and emphasizes the duty of States to care for and protect their children. rights during armed operations. conflict.