Nigeria’s Missing Girls

Recently, the international media has focused its attention to the shocking abduction of 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria. Most recently a video was released reportedly showing some of the girls in a state of concern. The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls went viral last week as the social web reacted and demanded action, up until this week. Many prominent international figures – including some of our GSA speakers – used their platforms to speak out and raise awareness around the Nigerian situation. Dallaire_CSI_175-Peter-Bregg-1100x400

Lt. Gen Romeo Dallaire (Ret) International Champion of Human Rights, Award-Winning Author, Leader

General Dallaire was featured in a debate article, where he offered opinion on the international rallying point of #BringBackOurGirls
If we focus on the needs of children in times of peace, we can prevent conflict. We often overlook the security sector’s role in maintaining and promoting peace. This requires innovative approaches to reform this sector so as to place a priority on children and understand their critical link to overall peace and security. Soldiers should not be limited to an active role during conflict; rather, the security sector should be regarded as a key stakeholder in the protection of children and communities in times of peace. The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag is a way of bringing the world’s attention to a critical issue, but it is still reactive. What we need now more than ever are sustainable solutions that require shifts in attitude and behaviour, and long-term policy changes.
The entire article can be read via The Globe and Mail.   33158-1100x400

Kevin Newman Digital News Evangelist & Host of Kevin Neman Live

Kevin Newman posed questions on hashtag activism to Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina. Kevin raised questions around past hashtag campaigns like #Kony2012 and #TrayvonMartin and whether or not they can impact change in a substantial way. You can watch the interview starting around the 28:30 mark of this video segment from Kevin Newman Live.   58872-1024x400

Stephen Lewis Celebrated Humanitarian and Former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa

Stephen Lewis talks about responsibility to protect – a UN agreement which came about in 2005 – and how the international community needs to intervene in Nigeria. He voices his displeasure over the fact the UN Security council had yet to discuss the abduction, especially considering the fact Nigeria currently sits on the council. View the entirety of his conversation via the video below: Sam-Nutt-wide

Dr. Samantha Nutt Global Humanitarian and Founder of War Child

We asked what could happen after the hashtag reached its critical mass potential- which has been argued through on the same social channels it has saturated. What could this collective awareness now accomplish?
I think the tricky piece here is that in fact there is very little that can be done, other than ongoing government to government diplomacy and a push to either arrest or contain Boko Haram, which may end up being a judicial or military process – neither of which really lends itself to a “get involved” kind of action. I think the only broader call to action here is to remind people that threats to girls and to their education happen all over the world every day, and perhaps they might be inspired to INVEST in girls’ education in at-risk parts of the world by supporting organizations that do offer this opportunity in safe and protected environments.
GSA is proud to represent several experts on International Affairs and Current Events, learn more about them here.