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Student’s Death Highlights Need for Urgent Reform

Hunain Bilal, a 17-year-old student in Lahore, had failed to memorize a lesson at school. As punishment, his teacher “punched him repeatedly, grabbed his hair and hit his head against the wall,” according to accounts from fellow…
A boy passes by a classroom in a school in Qutbal, Pakistan.
News

India, Pakistan Should Accept Findings, Ensure Justice

(New York) – India and Pakistan should act on the recommendations of the United Nations human rights office to protect basic rights in the contested region of Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The 43-page report by the Office of the UN…
Relatives of disappeared persons participate in a silent protest, demanding an investigation into the disappearances of people in Kashmir.
News

Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
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News

The UK Should Urge Him to Keep Promises on Girls’ Education

Pakistan’s new government has promised to fix one of the country’s biggest conundrums—how to get more girls into school. The UK—which gives more aid to Pakistan than any other country, much of it for education—should both push and help Imran Khan’s…
Two students at a free non-government school for poor children in the Lyari neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan.
News

22 Million Children Out of School

She opened the school around 2014 in a room in her grandmother’s home. At first, Shazia only had three students, but she went door-to-door recruiting more children, telling parents about the school and encouraging kids to attend. She makes a special…
Laiba, age eight, with Shazia, the founder of the lyari School.
Video
More than 22 million children in Pakistan are out of school, and the majority of them are girls. The Pakistan government should do more to provide all children with access to education.
Report
*/ Summary If we don’t get education, our nation won’t progress. —Rabiya, 23, single mother of a daughter, Karachi, July 2017. Pakistan was described as “among the world’s worst performing countries in education,” at…
News

Barriers Include Underinvestment, Fees, Discrimination

(London) – The Pakistan government is failing to educate a huge proportion of the country’s girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 111-page report, “‘Shall I Feed My Daughter, or Educate Her?’: Barriers to Girls’…
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News

Proposed Bill an Important Opportunity to Protect Children

Pakistan’s human rights minister, Shireen M. Mazari, recently spoke of her government’s commitment to advancing human rights for all Pakistani citizens. A proposed bill sent yesterday to Pakistan’s Senate that seeks to end child marriage is an…
A girl crosses a stream as she walks to school in Margalla Hills, Islamabad, October 24, 2014.
News

Police Training, Justice Reform Crucial for Holding Assailants Accountable

A fact long-hidden in Pakistan, shrouded in the silence of stigma, is now official. A government report has found that child sexual abuse is disturbingly common in Pakistan, with 141 cases reported in the city of Lahore alone since…
People chant slogans and hold signs to condemn the rape and killing of 7-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in Kasur, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan January 11, 2018.
News

Authorities Need to Better Protect Students, Teachers from Violence

(New York) – Alleged militants attacked and burned down at least 12 schools in Diamer district of Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region early on August 3, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. At least half were girls’ schools…
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News

Better Protect Children Instead of Turning Punishment into a Spectacle

Public outrage over the January rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari prompted Pakistan’s government to promise action. Unfortunately, that promise has led to authorities now considering an execution of her convicted killer in…
People hold signs to condemn the rape and killing of 7-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in Kasur, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan January 11, 2018.
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

Recent Violence Shows Grave Risks Pakistani Schoolgirls Face

Last week an improvised explosive device was used to target a girls’ school in Hassokhel, North Waziristan, in northwest Pakistan. Thankfully, no children were injured in the attack, although a boundary wall was damaged. That bombing…
School children flee as soldiers conducting an exercise to repel militant attacks detain a mock-militant (R) at the Islamia Collegiate School in Peshawar, Pakistan, February 2016.
News

Protests Erupt After 7-Year-Old Girl Raped and Killed

Yesterday, Pakistani news anchor Kiran Naz went on the air with her young daughter to protest on camera the rape and killing of Zainab Ansari, a 7-year-old girl, whose body was dumped in a pile of garbage. “It is true when…
People chant slogans and hold signs to condemn the rape and killing of 7-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in Kasur, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan January 11, 2018.
News

Closures Without Recourse Will Harm Ordinary Pakistanis

(New York) – The Pakistani government’s decision to shut down at least 10 organizations without providing valid reasons violates rights to freedom of expression and association, Human Rights Watch said today. Organizations affected include…
201712asia_pakistan_ngos2 A flood victim carries a sack of flour on his head from a distribution point while heading to his village of Murad Chandio, some 35 km (22 miles) from Dadu in Pakistan's Sindh province January 26, 2011.
News

Regressive Step by Parliament on International Day of the Girl

Pakistan’s Senate chose to mark the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child this week in an unusual way: by rejecting a bill that would have raised the minimum age for girls to marry from 16 to 18. The grounds for rejection?…
A girl crosses a stream as she walks to school in Margalla Hills, Islamabad, October 24, 2014.