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The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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In late 2018, Sierra Leone's First Lady, Fatima Bio, opened a national campaign "Hands Off Our Girls."   Her campaign made big promises to reduce child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country, in part to tackle the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
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Can the Bulldozer Really Change Gear?

It is not often that the World Bank publicly adopts a critical stance that stands up for human rights in one of its client countries, and does so even before other donors with human rights-focused foreign policies. …
Tanzania Sisi Kwa Sisi Foundation, a non-governmental LGBT youth organization based in Dar Es Salaam. On October 17, 2017, police raided a workshop at a hotel in Dar Es Salaam, where lawyers and activists were meeting to discuss HIV preve
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All names have been changed for pseudonyms. “My mother told me that my father refused me,” Amanda, a nervous 12-year-old, tells us. She is sitting in an empty classroom in Mwanza, northwestern Tanzania, her fidgeting hands…
Children sitting in a row, among them one child with albinism.
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Between the ages of 14 and 16, Imani, from Mwanza, Tanzania, walked more than an hour and a half every morning to reach her secondary school. She would often be punished for arriving late, but she never lost hope – holding on to her…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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“I [felt] discouraged …the school was very far, I had to climb the stones,” Lucia (not her real name) told me last year as I talked to her about her school experiences. Lucia lives in the hilly city of Mwanza bordering Lake Victoria, well-known as…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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“I liked to study so that I could have a broad mind. There was nothing I didn’t like to study. I had a dream of finishing school and going on to college, graduating and finding work.” Like millions of adolescents in Tanzania, Imani, from Mwanza…
More than 120 Form II students prepare to sit their mock exams in a secondary school in Mwanza, northwestern Tanzania.
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Many multinational companies now ban children from working in their operations, but child labor is still a central issue for them. In the globalized economy, products have long and complex supply chains, often reaching down to a multitude of small, local…
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Last Saturday, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda opened Education Week at Jamhuri stadium in Dodoma, setting off a national debate about the state of schooling in Tanzania. The week’s theme is “Quality education for all is possible”, and it is part of the…
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“Ibrahim” is a 12-year-old boy working in a small Tanzanian gold mine. One of his main jobs is to separate gold from the ore by using mercury, a toxic metal. Using his bare hands, he mixes mercury with ground-up ore to create a mercury-gold amalgam, then…
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Tanzania needs to act on child labour in the hazardous gold mining industry, fast.

I met Farida, a widow, and her seven children on a gold processing site for small-scale miners in Tanzania. The air was thick with dust mixed with particles of the metal and mercury - byproducts of the mining process. A thin layer of white powder settled…
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“I thought I was dead,” Adam K. said, describing a mining accident the previous year, when he was 16 years-old. Adam, who started mining at age 12, was digging a horizontal mining shaft, deep in the ground.  The tunnel collapsed in front of him,…
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On June 26, the world commemorates the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In Tanzania, however, such commemorations are likely to be muted. Tanzania is among a small minority of countries that have not signed or ratified the Convention…
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In 2012, Mwamini K. a sex worker in Dar es Salaam, was raped at gunpoint by a client who got angry when she asked him to use a condom. She did not report the case to the police nor seek medical assistance because she did not trust that she could get the…
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The New International Convention on the Highly Toxic Metal Mercury Could, Despite Some Flaws, Be a Huge Step Forward in Protecting the Right to Health This weekend, more than 140 governments agreed on the text for a new legally binding convention on…
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Mercury is an ancient metal rich in history, cloaked with mystery and power. It is liquid at room temperature, with a beautiful silver hue. The metal is used in industrial production, in medical and cosmetic products, and in small-scale gold mining.…
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Industry should seek to end child labor in unregulated gold mines

In Tanzania, I met "Julius", a boy of about 13, who works in an artisanal gold mine. He told me he digs ore in pits more than 15 metres deep and mixes toxic mercury with ground ore to retrieve the gold. Once a pit collapsed and almost killed another boy,…