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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
News

Government Should End Restrictions on Free Expression

The Nigerian government’s decision to ban Twitter and prosecute those who continue using the platform is a blatant and unjustified restriction on civic space and people’s right to information through social media. The government said its decision,…
Newspaper headline Twitter Banned in Nigeria
News

Follows Netherlands Government’s Decision to Halt Adoptions

A recent inquiry in the Netherlands into intercountry adoptions uncovered such damning abuses that the government froze all overseas adoptions. Following the Dutch investigation, the Swedish Family Law and Parental Support Authority, the agency…
Vy över Sveriges parlament (riksdag) i Stockholm den 9 april 2006.
News

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.
News

Education Not Prioritized at Annual Donor Conference

June 30 was possibly the most important day of 2020 for Syrian refugee children. At the annual pledging conference for the “Future of Syria and the Region,” dozens of governments and multilateral donors pledged US$7.7 billion in humanitarian aid for…
Hanan, a Syrian refugee in Jordan, created learning ‘blocks’ for her children from discarded cigarette cases.
News

State Perpetrators in Syria, Yemen Go Unnamed

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded in an April 8 report that Syria’s air force had carried out three chemical weapons attacks against its own people, including children, on the orders of senior military…
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.
News

Children as Young as 5 Arrested on Suspected Ties to Boko Haram

Update: Nigeria’s military has released an additional 223 children from a maximum-security prison in Borno State, the epicenter of the conflict with Boko Haram. Some of the children had been in detention for up to four or five years.…
UNICEF photo
News

Proposal Would Criminalize Criticism of Government

Nigerian campaigners are speaking out against a bill that would regulate engagement on social media with the campaign #SayNoToSocialMediaBill. The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 was presented in the Senate…
Two men check their phones in Kaduna, Nigeria
News

Federal Government, Other States Should Follow Ekiti State

Ekiti State in southwest Nigeria has adopted a policy to ban the expulsion of girls from schools during and after pregnancy, an important step in ending the longstanding discriminatory practice. Although Nigeria’s Child…
Jacinta, 15, was excluded from school after authorities found out that she was pregnant.
News

Sexual Exploitation and Harassment Also Widespread in Secondary Schools

A hard-hitting BBC television documentary, Sex for Grades, has uncovered rampant sexual abuse, harassment, and bullying of students at two prestigious universities in Nigeria and Ghana, and launched what will hopefully be a new movement.   …
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News

Forces in Northeast Issue Order to Prohibit Recruitment, Verify Ages

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of forces controlling parts of Syria’s northeast, has taken an important step towards ending the use of child soldiers in their ranks. The SDF issued a military order banning the…
Ain Issa displaced persons camp, one of three camps in northeast Syria where Human Rights Watch found the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) have been recruiting children for military participation, June 2017.
News

Amid Ongoing Bombings, More Protection Needed for Education

In areas of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus held by anti-government armed groups, schools have closed for fear that Syrian and Russian warplanes will bomb them. Instead, local residents have opened informal schools…
Children walk through the rubble of the Tamayuz (“Excellence”) kindergarten in the town of Hamouriyeh after it was hit by a Syrian-Russian airstrike on November 8, 2017. © 2017 Private
News

Ask Your Jeweler Where Their Gold and Gems Come From

This Sunday is Mother’s Day in the UK, and many people will be heading to the nearest high street to buy their mum a nice piece of jewellery. But before buying a necklace or bracelet, we want people to ask their jeweller:…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
News

UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
News

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

New Policy Will Help Open School Doors

The big picture is bleak for Syrian refugee children, but the Jordanian government recently took a step to ensure these children’s right to an education. Jordanian regulations require Syrian children to have a “service card,” issued by the…
Syrian children attend class in a school in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, October 20, 2015. The school taught Syrian girls in the morning and boys in the afternoon, but lacked electricity, heating, and running water.
News

Death of Detained Activist Puts Spotlight on Syria’s Ghastly Prison System

Yesterday Noura Safadi said that she had received confirmation that the Syrian authorities executed her husband, Bassel (Safadi) Khartabil, two years ago. Noura had been looking for Bassel since he disappeared from a Syrian prison in…
Bassel Khartabil
News

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

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.
News

Biggest Barrier to Children’s Education is Parents Out of Work

More than 40 percent of Syrian refugee children are still not going to school. That’s according to a new UNICEF report, which says that while Turkey has seen a 50 percent increase in school attendance for Syrian refugee children since last June, far too…
Maya, 9, reads a school textbook in her family home. She enjoys attending her local public school in izmir, on turkey’s west coast, where she is one of four Syrian students in her class.