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New Global Numbers Show Backsliding Even Before Covid-19 Pandemic

Ahead of the World Day Against Child Labor this weekend, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have just released shocking new figures. They estimate that 160 million children were engaged in child…
A boy sits atop a wheel barrow
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Student’s Death Highlights Need for Urgent Reform

Hunain Bilal, a 17-year-old student in Lahore, had failed to memorize a lesson at school. As punishment, his teacher “punched him repeatedly, grabbed his hair and hit his head against the wall,” according to accounts from fellow…
A boy passes by a classroom in a school in Qutbal, Pakistan.
News

Proposed Secure and Protect Act Attempts to Block Asylum Claims

If you follow the twisted logic of Senator Lindsey Graham’s Secure and Protect Act to its ultimate conclusion, the US would all but shut its doors to Central American refugees – full stop. A vote on the bill in the US Senate Committee…
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Proposed Bill an Important Opportunity to Protect Children

Pakistan’s human rights minister, Shireen M. Mazari, recently spoke of her government’s commitment to advancing human rights for all Pakistani citizens. A proposed bill sent yesterday to Pakistan’s Senate that seeks to end child marriage is an…
A girl crosses a stream as she walks to school in Margalla Hills, Islamabad, October 24, 2014.
News

Police Training, Justice Reform Crucial for Holding Assailants Accountable

A fact long-hidden in Pakistan, shrouded in the silence of stigma, is now official. A government report has found that child sexual abuse is disturbingly common in Pakistan, with 141 cases reported in the city of Lahore alone since…
People chant slogans and hold signs to condemn the rape and killing of 7-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in Kasur, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan January 11, 2018.
News

Better Protect Children Instead of Turning Punishment into a Spectacle

Public outrage over the January rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari prompted Pakistan’s government to promise action. Unfortunately, that promise has led to authorities now considering an execution of her convicted killer in…
People hold signs to condemn the rape and killing of 7-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in Kasur, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan January 11, 2018.
News

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.
News

Protests Erupt After 7-Year-Old Girl Raped and Killed

Yesterday, Pakistani news anchor Kiran Naz went on the air with her young daughter to protest on camera the rape and killing of Zainab Ansari, a 7-year-old girl, whose body was dumped in a pile of garbage. “It is true when…
People chant slogans and hold signs to condemn the rape and killing of 7-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in Kasur, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan January 11, 2018.
News

Regressive Step by Parliament on International Day of the Girl

Pakistan’s Senate chose to mark the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child this week in an unusual way: by rejecting a bill that would have raised the minimum age for girls to marry from 16 to 18. The grounds for rejection?…
A girl crosses a stream as she walks to school in Margalla Hills, Islamabad, October 24, 2014.
News

Stiffer Punishments Don’t Appear to be Deterring Crimes

On September 20, a man in Peshawar killed his two daughters because he thought they had boyfriends, and felt “ashamed” – the latest in a series of recent horrific acts of violence perpetrated in the name of “honor.” In a…
Members of civil society hold placards during a protest in Islamabad, Pakistan against a recent "honor" killing on May 29, 2014.
News

Still No Concrete Plan Despite Early Promises

Progress towards ending child marriage in Nepal appears to have ground to a halt, despite early hopes. Nepal, with the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia – 37 percent of girls married before 18, and 10 percent married by 15 – had been…
17-year-old Anjana M., married at 14, sits outside her home with her two-year-old daughter Ishita. Anjana’s aunt and uncle pressured her to marry her husband because of rumors about her relationship with him. Anjana’s father sent her to Pokhara when she w
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.
News

Actually, US Exported the MS13 Gang to El Salvador

In his speech announcing new “get tough on immigrants” policies, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it was necessary to take a “stand” against “transnational gangs like MS-13 and international cartels.” MS-13. The Mara…
Members of the MS-13 gang are detained near the crime scene where two men, Jose Wilfredo Navidad and Nestor Alexander Rivera, were killed as they rode a motorcycle on their way to work, in San Salvador, El Salvador January 26, 2016.
News

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

Woman’s death in a ‘menstruation hut’ in Nepal shines light on dangerous taboo

Dambara Upadhyay died alone aged 26 in a tiny mud hut she was banished to, just meters from her in-laws as her family slept. Her death has forced Nepal’s government to examine a practice that isolates and stigmatizes women and girls, pushes them out of…
A chaupadi hut, in a family's yard, where female members of the family are obliged to sleep during their menstrual periods. Kailali district, western Nepal.
News

Join Call for End of Abusive Practice On International Day of the Child

“I had three children – but two have already passed away,” Mahek Karn, age 19, told us, in a village in Nepal. Her parents arranged her marriage at age 16; she was pregnant within a month. Her daughter was one month old at the time of the interview, but…
Ganga M., 17, sits inside her home in Kailali, Nepal. Ganga had an arranged marriage at the age of 16 and was five months pregnant when this photograph was taken. Her husband works as a cook in India.
News
They planned to shoot 19-year-old Saba Qaiser in the head, put her body in a bag, and dump it in the river. It’s pure luck that they didn’t succeed. Saba was wounded but not dead, and managed to drag herself out of the river. Her attackers? Her…
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 30, 2015.
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
News
A female member of Pakistan’s parliament recently introduced legislation to set the minimum age for marriage at 18 for women as well as men. Under current Pakistani law, it’s 16 for women. On January 14, her proposal was withdrawn by a parliamentary…