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Rules Regulating Appearance Put Many Students, LGBT Teens at Risk

A recent case in Osaka, Japan, about hair color, highlights the risks of imposing social conformity. Many schools in Japan have strict policies around hair color, dress, and other appearance, and students can face harsh consequences if they fail to…
High school students wearing face masks walk in Tokyo, January 16, 2021. 
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.
Report
blockquote { margin-top: 2rem; margin-bottom: 2rem; padding-left: 1.5rem; border-left-width: 12px; border-color: #f5f5f5; color: #666; } Available in Français   Summary When armed men on motorcycles…
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Devastating Toll on Teachers, Students, and Schools

(New York) – Increasing armed Islamist group attacks on teachers, students, and schools in Burkina Faso since 2017 have had a devastating impact on children’s access to education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 102-page…
Young students in a classroom
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A Survivor Tells How Armed Islamists Attacked Students and Colleagues

The students who were still attending class at the Toulfé village middle school on the afternoon of November 12, 2018 were struggling to focus. It was late in the day. But that was not the reason for their lack of concentration. They were worried,…
A group of armed men pose for a photo
Video
(New York, May 26, 2020) – Increasing armed Islamist group attacks on teachers, students, and schools in Burkina Faso since 2017 have had a devastating impact on children’s access to education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The…
News

End Discrimination in Education Against Pregnant Girls, Adolescent Mothers

African governments should ensure the right to education for all girls by ending discrimination against those who are pregnant or have children, Human Rights Watch said today ahead of the United Nations International Day of the…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News
In June, Burundi joined a small group of African countries that ban pregnant girls from continuing with formal education in government schools. Burundi’s Education Ministry  banned the boys who get the girls pregnant as well as the girls themselves…
“Harriet,” 17, from Migori county, western Kenya, dropped out of the first year of lower secondary school when she got pregnant.
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

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

At Least 10 More Years of Official Silence on LGBT Lives in Schools

The Japanese government has missed an opportunity to introduce information about sexual and gender minorities to classrooms during a once-in-a-decade review of its national educational curriculum. Instead, the government said in March that including…
manga drawing by Taiji Utagawa
News

Efforts Boost Regional, Global Role on Gay Rights

(Tokyo, March 24, 2017) – Japan’s updated national bullying prevention policy will for the first time protect sexual and gender minority students, Human Rights Watch said today. The measure will boost Japan’s reputation regionally and internationally on…
manga drawing by Taiji Utagawa of a transgender man with head down in the dark with three white spots leading into the distance
News

School Guidelines Should Address Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

Last year, my colleagues and I interviewed sexual and gender minority youth from across Japan to learn about their experiences at school. The information we documented was harrowing: harassment and bullying colored the lives of many of the youth we met.…
manga drawing by Taiji Utagawa of a transgender man with head down in the dark with three white spots leading into the distance
News
Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental research and advocacy organization. We monitor human rights in more than 90 countries around the world, including Japan. We published a report in 2016 about access to education for lesbian, gay,…
News
Earlier this month Burundian intelligence agents arrested eight secondary school students in Muramvya province and accused them of insulting the head of state. Their crime? Drawing and writing phrases like “Get out” or “No to the 3rd term” on a picture of…
President Pierre Nkurunziza stands after being sworn in for a third term. Bujumbura, Burundi, August 20, 2015.
News
School bullying is notorious in Japan and has been for decades. For LGBT kids in particular, the harassment, threats, and even violence in schools can be unbearable. School policies don’t adequately protect these students. At best, teachers are confused…
Video
The Japanese government has failed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students from school bullying. Japan has a bullying prevention policy, which is up for review in 2016 amid a growing national debate on equal rights for LGBT…
News

Policies, National Curriculum Ignore Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government has failed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students from school bullying, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Japan has a bullying prevention policy, which is up for review in…
manga drawing by Taiji Utagawa of a transgender man with head down in the dark with three white spots leading into the distance