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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

This Earth Day, Eyes on 33 Governments Accused of Violating Child Rights

Increased heat, more frequent forest fires, and other extreme weather events fueled by climate change are already harming children in Europe. Unless governments take urgent action, the situation will only get worse.   This is the message from…
Portugal Wild Fires
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Court Recognizes Urgency of Climate Crisis

Increased heat, more frequent forest fires, and other extreme weather events fueled by climate change are already harming children in Europe today and governments are not doing enough to cut emissions and prevent catastrophic impacts on children’s…
Portugal Wild Fires
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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.
News

United Nations Urges Releasing, Reintegrating Children Caught Up in Conflict

(Abuja) – The Nigerian government should comply with new United Nations Security Council recommendations to immediately release children from military detention for alleged association with Boko Haram, Human Rights Watch said today. The government…
UNICEF photo
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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
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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.
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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
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(Abuja) – The Nigerian army’s release on October 3, 2019, of 25 detained children is an important step toward rights-respecting treatment of children affected by the Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria. The 23 boys and 2 girls had…
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The Nigerian military has arbitrarily detained thousands of children in degrading and inhuman conditions for suspected involvement with the armed Islamist group Boko Haram. Many children are held without charge for months or years in squalid and severely…
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Thousands Have Been Held in Deplorable Conditions

(Abuja) – The Nigerian military has arbitrarily detained thousands of children in degrading and inhuman conditions for suspected involvement with the armed Islamist group Boko Haram, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
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Many Still Unaccounted For; Abductions Continue

(Abuja) – The five-year anniversary of the Chibok school abduction is a reminder that schoolchildren remain vulnerable to attacks and abductions by Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria’s beleaguered northeast region. The lack of…
One of the kidnapped Chibok girls celebrates with a family member following her release in Abuja, Nigeria, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016.
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Secretary-General’s ‘List of Shame’ Should Reflect Report Findings

(New York) – The United Nations secretary-general’s new report on children and armed conflict sets a damaging precedent by ignoring or downplaying some countries’ abuses in his annual “list of shame,” Human Rights Watch said today.…
School in Nikishine, eastern Ukraine, damaged during fighting between Ukrainian government and rebel forces from Aug. 2014 to Feb. 2015.
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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.
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Precious minerals and stones are mined in dozens of countries around the world, and then typically traded, exported, and processed in other countries. Although their supply chains can be long and complex, jewelers and watchmakers have a responsibility to…
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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.
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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.
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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.