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‘Magnificent 7’ Urge Schools to Follow New Ruling Making Jilbab Voluntary

This week I moderated a discussion with seven courageous Indonesian women – a teacher, a lawyer, an ombudswoman, two psychologists, and two activists. They were holding a news conference to support a new government decree that allows schoolgirls and…
billboard indonesia
News

Education Not Prioritized at Annual Donor Conference

June 30 was possibly the most important day of 2020 for Syrian refugee children. At the annual pledging conference for the “Future of Syria and the Region,” dozens of governments and multilateral donors pledged US$7.7 billion in humanitarian aid for…
Hanan, a Syrian refugee in Jordan, created learning ‘blocks’ for her children from discarded cigarette cases.
News

Officials Shut Down Student News Website Over Story ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

A student news website in Indonesia that published a story about a woman expressing her love for another young woman was ordered by university officials to shut down its entire news operation after the story went viral. North Sumatra University (…
The newsroom of student website Suara USU at the North Sumatra University in Medan, which is facing closure. University President Runtung Sitepu ordered the newsroom to be shut down and the office to be vacated in 48 hours on March 27, 2019 after the webs
News

Authorities Equate Journalism with Doing “Something Wrong to Indonesia”

“Why am I now on the Indonesian government blacklist? For how long? For what reason? For going to Papua? This is devastating for me.” That was the reaction of Australian graduate student Belinda Lopez on August 4 when…
Indonesia's President-elect Joko Widodo (C) speaks with journalists at city hall in Jakarta, August 12, 2014.
News

Don’t Let Pregnancy Be a Barrier to Education

In Zambia, 28 percent of girls and young women aged 15 to 19 are mothers or have been pregnant. That is more than 275,000 teenagers. In addition to this staggering rate of adolescent pregnancy, only 50 percent of girls who become…
Front cover of Zambia’s “Guidelines for the Re-Entry Policy,” adopted in 2007.
News

The Church Should Reject Policies that Hinder Girls’ Access to Schools

Representatives of the Catholic church in Eastern Africa will meet in Addis Ababa later this week to discuss “vibrant diversity, equal dignity, and peaceful unity” in the region. A good place to start would be to change the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
News

Authorities Restrict Independent Journalism in Papua

Last week, Indonesian authorities arrested a BBC correspondent for tweets she made while reporting from Papua. The journalist, Rebecca Henschke, was questioned for a total of 17 hours by immigration and military officials before being…
Indonesian soldiers along with a local resident unload food and medical aid in Ewer, Asmat District, in the remote region of Papua, Indonesia January 29, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.
News

New Policy Will Help Open School Doors

The big picture is bleak for Syrian refugee children, but the Jordanian government recently took a step to ensure these children’s right to an education. Jordanian regulations require Syrian children to have a “service card,” issued by the…
Syrian children attend class in a school in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, October 20, 2015. The school taught Syrian girls in the morning and boys in the afternoon, but lacked electricity, heating, and running water.
News

Death of Detained Activist Puts Spotlight on Syria’s Ghastly Prison System

Yesterday Noura Safadi said that she had received confirmation that the Syrian authorities executed her husband, Bassel (Safadi) Khartabil, two years ago. Noura had been looking for Bassel since he disappeared from a Syrian prison in…
Bassel Khartabil
News

President Jokowi Fails to Deliver on Promise to Lift Restrictions

An Indonesian foreign ministry official has confirmed the government has maintained a secretive interagency “clearing house” that has long obstructed foreign journalists from traveling to the provinces of Papua and West Papua, despite…
Cartoonist's depiction of Indonesian government restrictions on media freedom and rights monitoring in Papua.
News

Media Access Restrictions Defy Promised Opening

French journalists Jean Frank Pierre and Basille Marie Longchamp learned firsthand last week the Indonesian authorities’ contempt for media freedom in its “Forbidden Island” provinces of Papua and West Papua (commonly referred to as “Papua”). …
Indonesia's President-elect Joko Widodo (C) speaks with journalists at city hall in Jakarta, August 12, 2014.
News

Biggest Barrier to Children’s Education is Parents Out of Work

More than 40 percent of Syrian refugee children are still not going to school. That’s according to a new UNICEF report, which says that while Turkey has seen a 50 percent increase in school attendance for Syrian refugee children since last June, far too…
Maya, 9, reads a school textbook in her family home. She enjoys attending her local public school in izmir, on turkey’s west coast, where she is one of four Syrian students in her class.
News

Annual Day Promotes Accountability for Attacks on the Media

For reporters at risk around the world – because they’re exposing corruption, covering conflict, or afflicting the comfortable – today matters: it’s the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. You’d think a group of professional…
Somali photojournalist runs for cover while reporting on fighting between the Somali government and African Union forces against the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, April 2012.
News

Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
News
It appears to be business as usual this week for Indonesian government officials’ intent on maintaining the decades-long restrictions on foreign media access to Indonesia’s far eastern provinces of Papua and West Papua. Just two weeks after Indonesian…
News
Indonesia’s media freedom sustained a worrying blow on Friday when a court in Jayapura, on the country’s easternmost island of Papua, convicted French journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat of “abusive use of entry visas.” The two journalists –…
News
This isn’t the first time that Syria has separated my friend Monica’s family at Christmas. In 2011, she spent the holidays reporting from the besieged city of Homs, while her husband, Javier, stayed home in Beirut with their two children. But this year it…