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The Pandemic has Brought to the Fore Systemic Deficiencies Affecting Children’s Education

Like millions of other children, Mia Sulastri has been putting in extra effort to keep up with her studies. When her school in Indonesia closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 17-year-old travelled 24 kilometres by motorbike, four times a week, to…
Children attending class on the first day of school, which was damaged by an airstrike during fighting between Saudi-led coalition-backed government forces and Houthi forces, Taizz, Yemen, September 3, 2019. © 2019 Ahmad al-Basha/AFP/Getty Images
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Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
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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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A New Day, a New Call to Action

‘Sadiq’ is 15 years old and from Sinjar district in northwest Iraq. He cannot write his own name. Sadiq’s education has been successively destroyed by war, displacement, and now, COVID-19. Sadiq should be in 9th grade, but for three years,…
Ruins of a school in Taizz Yemen
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Why Global Legal and Policy Efforts to Deter the Military Use of Schools Matter

This article describes how schools are used for military purposes in today's conflicts. It summarizes the latest data on the practice, before explaining how the military use of schools harms students’ and teachers’ safety and impedes students’ right…
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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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The news this week that Ukraine has become the 100th country to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration—a Norwegian initiative to make schools safer even during war—has me thinking about two schools at almost opposite ends of Europe. They…
Damaged school in Nikishine Rebel fighters deployed inside the school between September 2014 and February 2015 and exchanged intense fire with Ukrainian forces.
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What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
201911us_2020_election_voting
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For the nightmare of Beslan never to be repeated, its lessons must be learned

When I think of Beslan, I think of Volodya — the first person I interviewed there 15 years ago.  On Sept. 1, 2004, a group of three dozen Chechen-led armed militants took more than 1,100 local residents hostage at Beslan …
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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Militaries Changing Policies to Stop Using Schools

A fragile piece of papyrus dug up in Egypt in the 1970s shows that people have been struggling with the question of where soldiers should be quartered for thousands of years. The notice scrawled in ancient Greek—dating from around the…
United Nations peacekeepers from Pakistan using a school building in Mourouba, Ouaka province, as their base in violation of UN guidelines and regulations. The forces left the school in January 2017 after Human Rights Watch informed UN authorities.
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Mallorca is set to host an international conference beginning May 28 that will focus on protecting students, teachers, and schools during wartime. Spain offered to host the Third International Conference on Safe Schools to show its…
Children look through a destroyed classroom window at Yerwa Primary School, Maiduguri, Borno state, damaged by Boko Haram during attacks in 2010 and 2013. The school, established in 1915, was the first primary school in northeast Nigeria. © 2015 Bede Shep
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Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell is scheduled to open an international conference tomorrow on protecting schools during wartime on the island of Mallorca, Spain. The occasion has me thinking about two schools at almost opposite ends of Europe…
2015-11-eca-krasnohorivka
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On the surface, it seems that many people from China living in Canada do not shy away from voicing their political opinions. This month, at McMaster University, a Chinese student group issued a statement condemning a Uyghur activist’s speech at the…
China: One Belt, One Road, Lots of Obligations PHOTO
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Following a tense meeting with Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban 18 months ago, the president of the European People's Party (EPP), Joseph Daul, issued a clear warning: the EPP "will not accept that any basic freedoms are restricted or rule of…
People protest against a bill that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences, in Budapest, Hungary, April 9, 2017.
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  Across rural Brazil, ordinary people are being poisoned from highly hazardous pesticides sprayed near their homes, schools, and workplaces. This was one of the main findings of a report released by Human Rights…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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I met Yara, a teenager who was 3-months pregnant, a few months ago in an impoverished indigenous community in Mato Grosso do Sul state. I was there to talk to her parents, Irupe and Pinon, about how toxic pesticides sprayed in the large…
Veja Pesticides