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Education Minister Wrong to Limit Students’ Free Expression

Hong Kong’s secretary for education, Kevin Yeung, must have skipped the class on children’s rights. This week, Yeung banned school students from singing or playing certain political songs at school, saying children’s right to expression “is not…
Children wait for a school bus in Hong Kong, November 20, 2019.
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UN Report Finds Unfair Trials, Torture, Overreliance on Confessions

Over the past two years, Iraqi courts have processed more than 20,000 terrorism cases against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects, including hundreds of children. But a new United Nations report finds that far from…
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Judge Denies Abused Woman Divorce, Citing ‘Traditional Values’

“In principle, in divorce cases, the first time one sues for divorce, it won’t be granted. [Marriage is] a traditional value,” said Judge Zhang Yanbin in the Chinese city of Chengdu, ruling against a woman’s petition for divorce. “We made the ruling to…
A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way on a heavily polluted day in Beijing, December 26, 2015.
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Iraq’s New Parliament Should Prioritize Passage of Domestic Violence Law

The horrific case of an Iraqi woman apparently murdered at home should prompt Iraq’s new parliament, once formed, to finally pass a draft domestic violence law which has been pending since 2015. According to Iraqi media and…
Demonstrators in Baghdad call International Women's Day a "day of mourning" in protest of Iraq's new draft Jaafari Personal Status Law.
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Latest Public Health Scandal Ignites Debate Over Government Accountability

China’s social media users are in an uproar over a major drug company’s sale of substandard vaccines – most for babies as young as 3-months-old – and the authorities’ persistent failure to regulate the vaccine market properly. On Sunday…
A nurse prepares a vaccine to be given to a child in a hospital in Beijing, China, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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State Department Restores Burma and Iraq to its Annual List of Violators

I held my breath yesterday, waiting for the US State Department to issue its latest annual list of governments implicated in the use of child soldiers. Last year’s list was a disaster: then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson overruled his…
Child soldiers put down their guns in a disarmament and release ceremony in Jonglei state, South Sudan, February 10, 2015.
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Prosecute ISIS Members for Specific Crimes

On March 29, Iraqi security forces in Baghdad apprehended an alleged Islamic State (ISIS) member and freed a 15-year-old Yezidi girl he had held captive for years. Her freedom is a relief, but hopefully the case will jumpstart the…
Displaced Yezidis take shelter on Mount Sinjar. August 14, 2014.
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Tillerson Takes Burma, Iraq Off List Despite Evidence

Dozens of children were part of Burma’s armed forces as recently as last week. In Iraq, children have died fighting the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) with Iraqi government military units. But United States Secretary of State Rex…
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S. June 21, 2017.
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Two high-level figures have mischaracterized the European refugee crisis at a critical moment when the rights of asylum seekers are in great danger of being short-circuited. On March 1, NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Philip…
Refugees and migrants line up to receive aid in a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the Greek village of Idomeni March 4, 2016.
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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.
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The World Economic Forum in Davos is discussing human dignity in supply chains today. The question is how companies that use raw materials or other goods from anywhere in the world – and what company doesn’t these days? – can make sure that the rights of…
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On April 24, the Chinese government’s willingness to examine domestic violence as a possible mitigating factor in sentencing will go on trial as a Sichuan court rules in the case of Li Yan, who was sentenced to death for murdering her abusive husband. Her…