FIELD UPDATES - Nigeria
The Government continues to face challenges in countering the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency. The high number of security incidents attributed to two main factions of Boko Haram have continued since late 2018 in north-east Nigeria, resulting in a major humanitarian crisis. In this context, women and girls face a heightened risk of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), including abduction, rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage. Over the course of 2019, the UN documented 826 allegations of CRSV, 281 of them occurred when Boko Haram abducted women and girls from their homes, marketplaces or public transportation. Moreover, forced and child marriage are used as negative coping mechanisms to alleviate economic desperation and to deter armed groups from abducting unmarried girls. The Terrorism Prevention Act (2011) does not explicitly criminalize sexual violence as an act of terrorism, and counter-terrorism investigators and prosecutors have failed to address sexual violence as an integral aspect of Boko Haram ideology and operations, thereby impeding access to justice for survivors.