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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

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

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

Investigate Girl’s Murder, Protect Children from Abuse

The heart-wrenching case of a 14-year-old girl who died during childbirth at an Apostolic church in Marange, in Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province, has sent shockwaves across the country. According to reports, the girl, Memory Machaya, who had been forced out…
A group of child brides at Annandale farm, Shamva, Mashonaland Central Province after participating in a community meeting on ending child marriage.
News

Sixth US State to Explicitly End Practice; Rest Should Follow Suit

New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Thursday to end child marriage, making New York the sixth state in the United States to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 without exceptions. When the law goes into effect next…
Women protest child marriage at the New York state capitol in Albany, on Feb. 14, 2017.
News

Governments Need to Match Commitments with Action

Earlier in July, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector pledged almost $40 billion at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris to fight gender inequality over the next five years. The aim is to accelerate progress on women’s and girls’…
A girl holds the hand of a boy in Agadez, Niger on October 9, 2018.
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

Fifth US State Ends Marriage Under 18; UK Pledges to do the Same

Last week, a breakthrough in the global fight to end child marriage came when the United Kingdom government pledged to raise the minimum age of marriage in England and Wales to 18, without exception. Just days before, Rhode Island became the fifth US…
A demonstrator wearing a bridal gown takes part in a protest urging legislators to end Massachusetts child marriage
News

Cuomo Can Help US State Lead by Joining Four Others that Have Banned the Practice

On June 2, the New York State Assembly voted unanimously to approve a law ending all marriage before the age of 18 in New York State. The bill had already been approved by the state senate in May. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, should now sign the…
Women protest child marriage at the New York state capitol in Albany, on Feb. 14, 2017.
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

‘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
News

10 Points of Progress in 2020

This year has been devastating for children. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the education of 1.5 billion students, pushed an estimated 150 million additional children into poverty, left many without caregivers, and increased child labor, child…
Students sing the national anthem before class at a secondary school in Koidu, district of Kono, Sierra Leone, November 20, 2020.