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Police Accuse Tribal School of Training Child Combatants

On Monday, police in the central Philippine city of Cebu raided a temporary school for displaced Indigenous children and detained 26 people, including 19 children. Police allege the school was training children as “armed combatants” for the communist…
Arrested teachers and adult Indigenous students confer with their lawyer while detained in a Cebu City jail. 
News

Duterte Should Sign ‘Safe Schools Declaration,’ Not Threaten Students

  Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened airstrikes on schools for indigenous children on the southern island of Mindanao that he alleged are teaching “subversion [and] communism.” “I will bomb…
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks to protesters after he delivered his State of the Nation address at the Congress in Quezon city, Metro Manila Philippines July 24, 2017.
News

Taken From Philippines in Transit; Faces Harm, Criminal Charges

(Manila) – A fleeing Saudi woman faces grave risks after being returned to Saudi Arabia against her will while in transit in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should ensure that Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, is…
A photo of Dina Ali Lasloom’s boarding pass from Kuwait to the Philippines.
News
There’s a town in Africa that offers an amazing view of the Mongolian steppes. The picturesque panorama is hand-painted on the patio wall of Rubkona Primary School, in a rural town in South Sudan. The flowing rivers on the wall contrast sharply…
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Duterte has Opportunity to Deliver on Indigenous Rights

Hundreds of indigenous people marched in the streets of Manila on Monday, demanding respect for their basic human rights. They called for the government of President Rodrigo Duterte to drop trumped-up charges brought by the previous administration against…
Children at a sports center in Tandag City, Philippines on September 13, 2015. Many tribal people sought refuge at the sports center after the paramilitary group Magahat attacked their villages and schools on September 1.
News
Hundreds of Filipino children were barred from attending class when schools opened this week. The reason? The children have been living in shelters in Zamboanga City since their families fled fighting in the southern Philippines, and the…
Zamboanga East and West Central School, Zamboanga City, Philippines, 2013.
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

Children Describe Forced Recruitment, Trauma, Abuse

(New York) – South Sudanese leaders should help end widespread use of child soldiers by suspending and investigating commanders who have recruited children, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Thousands of children have…
Child soldiers put down their guns in a disarmament and release ceremony in Jonglei state, South Sudan, February 10, 2015.
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South Sudanese leaders should help end widespread military use of schools by both government and opposition forces. South Sudan’s army has actually issued a military order prohibiting the soldiers from using the school for military purposes, but these…
News

Finance, Carry Out National Action Plans

(Nairobi) – African governments should coordinate action to improve laws, education, health care, and public awareness to end the scourge of child marriage, Human Rights Watch said today on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2015. Forty percent…
A young, unmarried girl stands amid a herd of cattle outside Bor, the capital of Jonglei State.  Cattle carry significant social, economic, and cultural importance for South Sudan's pastoralist ethnic groups, which use cows for payment of dowry.
News

Opening the Door for Girls' Education, Health, and Freedom from Violence

Introduction I faced a lot of problems in marriage. I was young and did not know how to be a wife. I was pregnant, had to look after my husband, do housework, deal with in-laws, and work on the farm. My worst time was…
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Military Supporting Abusive Forces in Mindanao

(Manila) – The Philippine military has repeatedly stood aside while paramilitary forces have attacked indigenous villages and schools in the southern region of Mindanao, Human Rights Watch said today. These forces have committed killings, torture, forced…
Children at a sports center in Tandag City, Philippines on September 13, 2015. Many tribal people sought refuge at the sports center after the paramilitary group Magahat attacked their villages and schools on September 1.
News
“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
News
I approached the school—high in the hills of northern Luzon—with a bit of trepidation. It was late in the day, and schools that lack the joyous cacophony of children playing always seem a little eerie to me. I was also being cautious because my intent was…
News

Military Use Risks Students Lives, Safety, Education

(New York) – The use of schools and other education institutions for military purposes by armed forces and non-state armed groups during wartime endangers students and their education around the world, said the Global Coalition to Protect Education from…