AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, Boko Haram (whose name means “western” or “non-islamic education is a sin”) has waged a terrorist war over the past four years in northern Nigeria, a territory covering nearly two-thirds of the country; this ruthless conflict has targeted schools, villages, health clinics, and government facilities, killing or wounding thousands of civilians, and kidnapping children who are traded as sex slaves, forced into marriage or serve as child soldiers; and

WHEREAS, in 2013, motorcycle gunmen, self-identified as Boko Haram, killed nine nurses and healthcare workers who were administering polio vaccinations; and

WHEREAS, on March 12, 2014, six Nigerian teachers from the state of Borno were murdered in their homes, and their family members—26 women and children—were kidnapped and remain missing; since 2009, according to the Nigeria Union of Teachers, 171 teachers have been killed; and

WHEREAS, most recently Boko Haram abducted 300 young women from their secondary school, which the world has responded to with outrage and condemnation; the AFT’s network of human rights leaders in locals across the United States has rapidly joined the worldwide social media campaign, “#BringBackOurGirls,” which received attention from leaders such as Malala Yousafzai and Michelle Obama; and

WHEREAS, Nigeria’s national, state and local security forces have failed to ensure the safety and protection of families and communities; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) led a bipartisan group of all 20 women senators asking the Obama administration to press the United Nations to add Boko Haram to its terrorism sanctions list; and followed with getting the Senate to unanimously pass a resolution condemning Boko Haram and urging the U.S. government to make security assets available to Nigeria in its fight against terrorism:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers inform all 20 U.S. women senators who led the call to action that we stand with them and their Senate colleagues in their call for swift and determined international action against Boko Haram; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT urge the Obama administration to be relentless in engaging the government of Nigeria in every international forum, urging Nigeria to uphold its obligations as a developing democracy that respects the human rights of all its citizens, guarantees the rule of law, and ensures the security and protection of its people; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT call on international aid agencies to assist the government of Nigeria in investing foreign aid and national resources in education and health for all its citizens, through government programs that are noncorrupt, transparent and accountable; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT join Education International in calling on the government of Nigeria to make reparations to the families, teachers and healthcare workers, many of whom have been intimidated or displaced from practicing their professions, and others who have been murdered for simply serving their communities; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT intensify its efforts to engage AFT members across the country in a demonstration of grass-roots support—through social media, petitions, letters, demonstrations and other mobilization—that gets conveyed to the government of Nigeria, which must do more to end the atrocities of kidnapping and murder of innocent civilians.