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Safe Schools Conference in Abuja Shows Government Action Can Bring Progress

Nearly two decades ago, I first heard brave Afghan students and teachers describe armed attacks on their schools and threats to their lives as they struggled to learn and teach. Today, I am in Abuja, Nigeria, for the Fourth International Conference on…
Safe Schools Conference in Abuja Shows Progress Is Possible
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Authorities Should Ensure Schools Are Safe

Update: On February 26, barely 9 days after the abduction in Niger State, 317 girls were abducted from a government girls’ secondary school in the Jangebe area of northwestern Zamfara State. Gunmen in Nigeria’s northwestern Niger State attacked a…
Freed schoolboys look on during a meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, December 18, 2020, in Katsina, Nigeria, days after an armed group attacked their school and kidnapped them.
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Recent Violence Shows Grave Risks Pakistani Schoolgirls Face

Last week an improvised explosive device was used to target a girls’ school in Hassokhel, North Waziristan, in northwest Pakistan. Thankfully, no children were injured in the attack, although a boundary wall was damaged. That bombing…
School children flee as soldiers conducting an exercise to repel militant attacks detain a mock-militant (R) at the Islamia Collegiate School in Peshawar, Pakistan, February 2016.
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Countries Should do More to Protect Schools from Attack

Only the slight buzz of translation through diplomats’ headphones could be heard as Joy Bishara, now 21, described the night in April 2014 when armed men from Boko Haram burned her school in Chibok, Nigeria, forcing Joy and her…
Joy Bishara is seated next to Inigo Lambertini, Ambassador Deputy PR of Italy to the United Nations, during a special “Arria formula briefing” about attacks on schools and education at the United Nations, October 13, 2017.
News

Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
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Committee Should Address Access to Education, Troops in Schools

This week, a United Nations expert committee will review Nigeria’s record concerning women and girls. It will be an opportunity both to endorse Nigeria’s efforts to protect its schoolgirls from abduction and attack, and to urge more…
A picture of a teacher writing on a black board while students pay attention.
News

Endorse Safe Schools Declaration Ahead of UN Rights Review

“I was just 10 when more than 400 schools [in Pakistan] were destroyed,” said Malala Yousafzai when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. “And our beautiful dreams turned into nightmares. Education went from being a…
Pakistani students in Lahore return to school under high alert security after the December 16, 2014 attack by the Pakistani Taliban on the Army Public School in Peshawar, January 1, 2015.
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The Government Should Honor Malala’s Courage, Endorse the Safe Schools Declaration

This month the United Nations secretary-general appointed Malala Yousafzai as a UN Messenger of Peace to promote girls education, an acknowledgement of the courage and passion of millions of students who take great risks to learn in the face of adversity…
Malala Yousafzai attends a ceremony with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres after being selected a United Nations messenger of peace in New York, NY, April 10, 2017.
News

Authorities Should Do More to Rescue Children Taken by Boko Haram

In March 2015, Boko Haram fighters fleeing security forces from Chad and Niger escaped with some women and hundreds of children abducted from Damasak in Borno State. At least 300 of them were students at the Zanna Mobarti Primary School. …
A wall painted by Boko Haram is seen in Damasak March 24, 2015.
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Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week recognized the enormity of the country’s problem of enforced disappearances with a simple directive: identify the bodies. On February 10, the Supreme Court asked federal and provincial governments to ensure that “…
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The attack on a school in Peshwar in northwestern Pakistan that left at least 145 dead – almost all of them children – sets a new low of depravity for the Pakistani Taliban. Tragically, the attack, while horrific in scale, is but one of an all-too-…