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Disparities in Vaccination Rates Leaves Communities at Risk

This week, millions of residents across New South Wales emerged from more than 100 days of lockdown after the Australian state met its target of full vaccination for 70 percent of its population over age 16. Across Sydney, people queued for haircuts…
People wait outside a Covid-19 vaccination clinic in the Bankstown suburb during a lockdown in Sydney, Australia, August 25, 2021.
News

Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.
News

Proposed Plan Could Improve Medicine Access for Millions

Last week, the administration of US President Joe Biden released a much-anticipated policy agenda for addressing exorbitant prescription drug costs in the United States. Congress and the White House should seize this opportunity to implement reforms…
President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
News

Action Needed to End Lost Learning for Refugee, Asylum-Seeking Children

The first day of school in Greece, September 13, signals the return to in-person schooling for children after a year of Covid-19 related disruptions and learning loss. Today will be especially important for refugee and asylum-seeking children, most of…
Children play in a playground in the Ritsona refugee camp, north of Athens, Greece on October 22, 2019.
News

Tribal Treaty Requires US Government to Provide Competent Care

A United States Court of Appeals last week affirmed a lower court ruling that the US government is obliged to provide competent health care to South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a modest but important victory for the human right to health of tribe…
The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs host a field hearing in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 17, 2016, to discuss proposed legislation aimed at fixing shortcomings at the network of hospitals run by the Indian Health Service.
News

Repeal New Segregated Education Policy for People with Disabilities

On August 17, Brazilian Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro made harmful remarks about children with disabilities, saying they “disturbed” other students and that some are “impossible to live with.” Later, he apologized to “those who were offended”…
A young girl who does not attend school, living in an institution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 6, 2016.
News

A Third Shot in Rich Countries Undermines Legal Obligations to Cooperate

The United States government’s announcement this week that eligible people can receive a third “booster” shot of Moderna or Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines comes as less than two percent of people in low-income countries have received even a single dose of…
Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign at the Vaccine Village in Ebersberg, Germany on May 15, 2021.
News

Government Should Prioritize Prevention, Eradication, and Services for Survivors

On August 14, Ecuador commemorated the country’s first national day against sexual violence in schools. A year ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Ecuador responsible for the violations of Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s rights. Paola, who…
Judges at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hear the case Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s mother brought against Ecuador in San José, Costa Rica on January 28, 2020.
News

Government Should Promptly Adopt Strong Policy to Tackle Abuses against Students

The hashtag #JusticePourLouise has been trending in Senegal in recent days, the latest grim reminder of the country’s failure to deal with the scourge of sexual violence in Senegal’s education system. In the latest case, a 19-year-old male student…
A young woman stands by a window at a secondary school in Dakar. 
News

President Suluhu Should Support Education of Pregnant Girls

Tanzania’s first woman president, Samia Suluhu, took office in March 2021. Her administration has the opportunity to call on education authorities to end the exclusion of pregnant and married girls from public schools. She should urge them to adopt a…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News

African Union Should Develop Model Policy for Governments

“Ruhiyyeh” (not her real name), from Senegal, was 17 when Human Rights Watch spoke to her in 2017 about her experience of continuing schooling while pregnant. She became pregnant while finishing lower secondary school. “Ruhiyyeh” was lucky. The school…
A girl sits in a chair, with her back facing the camera, in a colorful dress and a white headscarf.
News

Donors Should Sustain Vital Services While Decrying Violations

Donor countries to Afghanistan say they want to keep protecting the human rights of women and girls, even as international troops prepare to depart the country. But a bill introduced in the United States Senate last week raises tricky issues about how…
Women walking Nadir Khan Overlooking Kabul womens rights us withdrawl
News

Education Ministry has a Crucial Role in Addressing Teen Pregnancies

“I want to [talk] about female candidates who sat for the…examination [while] in hospitals. As I celebrate, I also want to castigate our parents in the most severe terms possible.” These were the words of Kenya’s cabinet secretary for education,…
young mothers collect books library
News

Children and Youth Have a Right to Comprehensive Information

Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill that will update the US state’s sexuality education law, removing inaccurate and stigmatizing language about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Previously, Alabama state law required…
Pride Flag
News

On World Health Day, a Call for a ‘Fairer and Healthier World’

Today marks World Health Day with the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for increased government investment and cooperation to tackle global health inequities. Government policy and practice primarily determine the equity or otherwise of health…
A man wearing a mask receives a vaccination in the arm
News

‘Magnificent 7’ Urge Schools to Follow New Ruling Making Jilbab Voluntary

This week I moderated a discussion with seven courageous Indonesian women – a teacher, a lawyer, an ombudswoman, two psychologists, and two activists. They were holding a news conference to support a new government decree that allows schoolgirls and…
billboard indonesia
News

Rules Regulating Appearance Put Many Students, LGBT Teens at Risk

A recent case in Osaka, Japan, about hair color, highlights the risks of imposing social conformity. Many schools in Japan have strict policies around hair color, dress, and other appearance, and students can face harsh consequences if they fail to…
High school students wearing face masks walk in Tokyo, January 16, 2021. 
News

Police Accuse Tribal School of Training Child Combatants

On Monday, police in the central Philippine city of Cebu raided a temporary school for displaced Indigenous children and detained 26 people, including 19 children. Police allege the school was training children as “armed combatants” for the communist…
Arrested teachers and adult Indigenous students confer with their lawyer while detained in a Cebu City jail. 
News

Mandatory Order to Install Surveillance Software Infringes on Child Privacy, Expression

Singapore’s Education Ministry has made it mandatory for secondary school students to install tracking and remote access software on all laptops issued under a national digital literacy program, and on students’ personal devices that are used to…
A student uses a laptop for schoolwork while participating in remote learning, September 7, 2020.
News

Governments Should Avoid Further Disruptions to Schools and Formal Teaching

“I feel like the earth has just stopped,” said Jae-kuk, a 14-year-old boy in South Korea, recounting how he felt when his school was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Céleste, a 15-year-old girl living in the Central African Republic, told Human…
Chalk board