As Canada considers its role in trying to rescue the more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria, some Canadian students are speaking up to raise awareness for the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.

"Every girl has a right to go to school and have an education, and for someone to take it away it's not right," said Manal Ahmed, a Grade 8 student from Lawrence Heights Middle School.

Ahmed and her friends were among some 1,000 students, aged 12 to 18, who gathered at York University on Wednesday to discuss a wide range of issues, such as obesity, environment and domestic violence.

The Nigerian girls were taken from a boarding school by men dressed as soldiers more than three weeks ago. Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group, has since claimed responsibility. The leader of the group also threatened to sell the girls and carry out more abductions in a videotape on Monday.  

The girls' abduction has triggered protests and inspired campaigns both in real life and on social media, as users adopted the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Emily Nguyen, a student at Lawrence Heights, said a simple hashtag could help spread the word.

"[Because] everyone has the same amount of power and everyone can help those girls," she said.

A group of Grade 6 students from Summit Heights Public School also called for social media users to join the online campaign, even though many of them are too young to sign up for an account.

"If I had Instagram or Twitter, I would definitely do that," Dina Dragushin said. "I would be the first person on there."

CBC's Michelle Cheung spoke to the local students. Watch her report by playing the video above.

With files from the CBC's Michelle Cheung