Nigerian Authorities have been urged by the United Nation, UN, to ease abortion restrictions for women and girls who had been sexually enslaved, raped and forced into so-called “marriages” by Boko Haram sect.
The UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Al-Hussein, made this known on Thursday in New York while discussing with the Human Rights Council on Boko Haram’s rights violations and abuses, the findings of a 12-member team to Cameroon, southern Niger and the north-eastern regions of Nigeria on Boko Haram.
According to Al-Hussein, researches had confirmed that during their captivity, women and girls were sexually enslaved, raped and forced into marriages, as a result of this, many survivors of the horrific experiences are now pregnant for their rapists.
He further drew attention to the situation of many formerly captive women and young girls, who are pregnant and their reported wish to terminate these unwanted pregnancies.
“I note that abortion is legal in Nigeria only when the life of the woman is at risk.
“Human rights mechanisms have consistently called for ensuring access to safe abortion services beyond the protection of the woman’s life, including in cases of rape, and to preserve the health of the woman,” he said.
“Taking this into account, I strongly urge the most compassionate possible interpretation of the current regulations in Nigeria to include the risk of suicide and risks to mental health for women and young girls, who have suffered such appalling cruelty.” He concluded.