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Education Ministry has a Crucial Role in Addressing Teen Pregnancies

“I want to [talk] about female candidates who sat for the…examination [while] in hospitals. As I celebrate, I also want to castigate our parents in the most severe terms possible.” These were the words of Kenya’s cabinet secretary for education,…
young mothers collect books library
News

Children and Youth Have a Right to Comprehensive Information

Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill that will update the US state’s sexuality education law, removing inaccurate and stigmatizing language about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Previously, Alabama state law required…
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On Human Rights Day, Celebrating People Who Make the World Better

This Human Rights Day I’m celebrating my sister’s commitment to lifting up the lives of girls and giving them a chance at realizing their potential. I think of my sister Vicky as a warrior in the fight for human rights, and on December 10, I’m…
Vicky, a teacher in a girls’ school in Kenya, is dedicated to empowering girls. 
News

35th Ordinary Session

Human Rights Watch respectfully submits this written presentation to contribute testimony from children to the discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on children at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of…
Schoolchildren attend class at a school in Norton, west of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, September 10, 2019.
News

Harms Girls and Reduces Nation's Potential

"I didn't go back to school, because I didn't have anyone to give me advice," "Harriet" told me. "I wish someone would've come to talk to me about school and encourage me." We were sitting in   her brother's home in Migori county, western…
Report
Summary Jasmine D., a pseudonym, is a 21-year-old student in Birmingham, Alabama, who was recently treated for chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is preventable and treatable. Left untreated though, it can lead to serious…
News
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
News
  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.
News

African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…
News
Millions of dollars in aid money pledged to get Syrian refugee children in school last year did not reach them, arrived late, or could not be traced due to poor reporting practices. In a report released today, “Following the Money: Lack of…
Syrian children and schools in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
News

Murky Money Trail, Missed Targets, Missing Data

(Beirut) – Millions of dollars in aid money pledged to get Syrian refugee children in school last year did not reach them, arrived late, or could not be traced due to poor reporting practices, Human Rights Watch said today. The 55…
Syrian children in an informal refugee camp in the Bekaa Valley.
Report
Summary Since 2011, violence in Syria has forcibly displaced at least 1.6 million school-age children to other countries in the region. Before the conflict, more than 90 percent of Syrian children attended primary school and 70 percent…
News
On March 20, Utah officially repealed an anachronistic provision of state law that prohibited the "advocacy of homosexuality" in public schools.   The repeal is an important milestone, and will make a huge difference for Utah…
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News

Legislature’s Vote Sets Example for Other US States

In a major victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, Utah has repealed its “no promo homo” law restricting discussions of homosexuality in schools. On Monday, Governor Gary Herbert signed SB 196, revising a state law…
Josh Greer, a student who has been the target of bullying and discrimination in school, writes in his journal in his bedroom in Cache Country, UT, October 2016.
News

Other States Should Abandon Discriminatory Proposals

Lawmakers in South Dakota have withdrawn a discriminatory bill that would have barred transgender students from using locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. The Senate Education Committee was scheduled to hear testimony on the bill, SB…
The South Dakota State Capitol building in Pierre, South Dakota, February 2016.
News

State Lawmakers Double Down on Baseless Fearmongering

Yesterday, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard pledged to veto a discriminatory bill that would restrict transgender students from accessing locker rooms and facilities that match their gender identity. The bill, SB 115, was introduced this week…
The South Dakota State Capitol building in Pierre, South Dakota, February 2016.
News

It Gets Better, Just Not Here

Over the past year, I’ve traveled around the United States interviewing students, teachers, and administrators about the issues that LGBT people face in schools. The stories I heard were sobering. Despite some progress in laws and attitudes,…
Josh Greer, a student who has been the target of bullying and discrimination in school, writes in his journal in his bedroom in Cache Country, UT, October 2016.
News

How US Laws Leave Educators Fearful, Students Vulnerable to Bullying

Ellen A. just wanted to be a good teacher. But she felt she couldn’t help all of her students. It was fear that stopped her. Fear of discovery, fear of being fired. It stopped her from being herself day in and day out. Ellen, who is in her 50s…
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