The Maori Party is celebrating the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic militants almost six months ago.

girlsOn 8th May the Maori Party challenged the Government to do more to send the message to the United Nations that Aotearoa is totally opposed to the violations that took place against these girls.

While so much of our attention has been focused on securing a seat for New Zealand at the Security Council, these innocent schoolgirls have been living as captives of Boko Haram since 14 April this year, says Maori Party List MP, Marama Fox.

While we were pleased the Government added the group to its terrorist watchlist I guess we wonder whether more could have been done to stand together in opposition to such a vile breach of human rights for these young women.

I would hope that in future situations we may be able to bring influence to bear to bring the girls home; to release them from terrorists who abducted them, exposing them to the threat of numerous violations including being sold into slavery, says Ms Fox.

She says that it has to be seen as a victory for international social justice activists, that the girls have been released just days after the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against the suppression of children and for the right of all children to education.

“As an educationalist, I am clear about the importance of living up to the ideal that education is not a privilege, it is a right and all young women and indeed all young men should be given opportunity of that right, free from tyranny and fear for personal safety, says Ms Fox.

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