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Over 10 million children are out of school in Nigeria and the global pandemic has only made it harder for young people to stay in school. There have been dire consequences for girls, who are at risk of being married off. In a recent report,…
A woman protests against child marriage in Lagos, Nigeria.
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Water mixed with salt was dinner for Umar Abubaker and his family of eight, including three young children, for many nights during Nigeria’s five-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Before the lockdown, Abubakar, who has a physical…
A man reading the newspaper "The Nation"
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When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

People whose identities do not fit into a rigid female/male gender binary have, in many countries, been on a years-long quest to obtain official documents that reflect their identities by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M…
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The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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Donald Trump's administration proposed a cold-blooded new, 161-page asylum regulation last week. It would limit those eligible to qualify for asylum in the United States and circumvent America's legal obligations - under US and international law - to…
Aslyum seekers hold bags from the Department of Homeland Security
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When Akanni’s mother died in early 2018, she stopped eating for three weeks. Her mood became unpredictable; she was often shouting or sulking angrily. Medicine from a local pharmacist didn’t help. At a loss for what to do to handle the trauma, Akanni’s…
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For years, international media have been full of horrifying stories of Nigerian women and girls trafficked to Libya and Europe for sexual and labor exploitation. The world now also knows very well that many refugees and migrants seeking…
A Nigerian woman sits in a center in Benin City.
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New Zealand has banned semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited firearms after 50 people were killed and dozens wounded in a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15. …
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Farmer-Herder Conflicts on the Rise in Africa Violent clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in June reminded me of a smelting hot afternoon a year ago.  I was sitting in my living room watching a herder grazing his…
Internally displaced villagers herd livestock in Turkana county, Kenya.
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On May 4, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced a hold on $6 million in aid to the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a United Nations-sponsored body that works with local prosecutors to investigate organized crime and…
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"Go back and die in Nigeria.” The words still echo in the soft-spoken young man’s mind as he recalls the parting words of a Cameroonian soldier as he pushed a group of 40 Nigerians across the border. Then the young man, whom I will call “…
The congested Ngala camp for internally displaced persons in Borno State, northeast Nigeria, where a Boko Haram attack in early September killed at least seven people, April 2017.
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Lagos — As I waited at Nigeria's Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos, watching bags of various colors and shapes tumble onto the carousel, I cast a glance around the airport. It always feels good to be back in the city that was my home for over 20 years.…
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It is a rare law enforcement officer or intelligence agent who doesn’t want access to more information. Yet total information awareness, to use a term from the George W. Bush administration era, has never been possible. Some people whisper to avoid prying…
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Children across New Zealand are back in school for the new academic year, and many will be looking forward to studying, playing sport, and maybe singing in the school choir. This isn't the case for many children around the world who are denied…
Children sent to Nauru by Australia for “offshore processing,” August 2016. Parents and children reported that students from families of refugees and asylum seekers are frequently bullied by Nauruan students.
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Snatched schoolgirls and suicide bomb blasts have long been the enduring images of Nigeria’s Boko Haram conflict. But now the violence is represented by thousands of new faces: those of starving children. Scenes like these haven’t been seen…
Women and children gather at the water point at an internally displaced people’s camp in Maiduguri