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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
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(London/Washington D.C.)  -- “I never come here, just because of boys,” Atifa says, pointing at the door of the stall. “They’re opening the door.” Atifa, a sixth grader in Kabul, Afghanistan, attends a school of 650 girls. Since they study in tents…
Girls in Afghanistan -- And everywhere else -- Need toilets
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“My sister finished the first year at school, but then she got tired and decided to leave. She walked four hours each way every day, so that made her tired,” Sabina, 12, who grew up in rural Balkh province, said. Sabina was able to study starting at age…
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Urge to Press the Government for Action Is Long Gone

“This is not a side event. This is the main event,” several speakers said at the – yes – side event on women’s empowerment the day before the October 5 donor conference on Afghanistan in Brussels. The donor session, for all its warm glow, highlighted the…
DATE IMPORTED:October 05, 2016(Front Row L-R) Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani, European Council President Donald Tusk, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, U.S.
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Gales of laughter greeted my question: “So, which is worse, ISIS or the Taliban?” I was speaking to a room full of women who had recently fled areas in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province controlled by groups claiming allegiance to the…
An Afghan woman in Chaghchran capital of Ghor province June 2, 2014.
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Since the 2001 U.S.-led military intervention in Afghanistan, Western countries have invested heavily in education there. But as security across the country deteriorates, schools in many places are under threat, not only from resurgent…
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This week, reality struck home for Afghanistan over the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Ratified by Afghanistan in 2003 during the early heady post-Taliban days when it seemed like a bright future for…
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Was one of the youngest prisoners at Guantánamo rushed to court by the Bush administration for political reasons?

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba -- One of the youngest detainees at Guantánamo Bay, a 23-year-old Afghan named Mohammed Jawad , spent two days in a courtroom here last week as his defense lawyer argued that his case should never go to trial. The attorney, Maj. David…
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The Bush administration's get out of jail card for torturers

If the Bush administration is still good at anything, it's this: distracting its opponents and seizing little victories from what might have been big defeats. Take the administration's recent efforts to respond to the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v…
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How did a short item in Newsweek reporting that U.S. interrogators had desecrated a Koran at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, spark massive riots in several Muslim countries last week, leading to the deaths of least 16 people? And who, exactly, should bear the blame…
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The military commissions now taking place at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, fall somewhere between a trial and a farce. The military officials involved in the process all seem committed to doing the best they can, but it is clear that they are struggling to make…
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The two recent reports on U.S. military abuses of prisoners show the limits of Pentagon-appointed investigations for such a controversial issue. Both the Schlesinger commission and the internal Army review contain important and disturbing information on…
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In the city of Herat in western Afghanistan, the government of the warlord Ismail Khan recently applied new rules rolling back educational opportunities for women and girls. Men may no longer teach women or girls in private classes. Girls and boys are no…