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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

Police Accuse Tribal School of Training Child Combatants

On Monday, police in the central Philippine city of Cebu raided a temporary school for displaced Indigenous children and detained 26 people, including 19 children. Police allege the school was training children as “armed combatants” for the communist…
Arrested teachers and adult Indigenous students confer with their lawyer while detained in a Cebu City jail. 
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

Duterte’s Campus Anti-Drug Plans Threaten Student Safety, Education Rights

(Manila) – The Philippine government’s plan for mandatory drug testing for all college students and applicants seriously threatens their safety and right to education, Human Rights Watch said today. On August 2, 2017, the official …
Students protest extrajudicial killings at a university in metro Manila, Philippines, September 30, 2016.
News

Armed Islamists, Government Forces Undermine Right to Education

  On June 21, dozens of armed Islamist rebels stormed and occupied a school on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, the latest in a slew of attacks that highlight the continued risks children face seeking an education in the volatile…
201706Asia_Philippines_Pigcawayan
News

University’s LGBT Student Group Provides Support System

  Patrick’s knees were shaking as he marched with his university in the Pride Parade in the Philippine capital, Manila. “It’s a big step for me,” he said. “To accept my sexuality and to come out of the closet.”…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
Report
Summary [Senator and boxing legend] Manny Pacquiao says we’re not human. They should just let us be. – Edgar T., an 18-year-old gay high school student in Manila, February 2017 Schools should be…
News

Discrimination and Lack of Support Undermine Right to Education

(Manila, June 22, 2017) – Students across the Philippines experience bullying and discrimination in school because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While Philippine law…
A girl covers anti-LGBT messages in rainbow handprints during a Pride rally in Manila on June 27, 2015.
Report
Summary The president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, once described the discovery of oil in the 1990s off the coast of the small Central African nation as “manna from heaven,” the Biblical life-saving bread that God sent…
News

As Reserves Dwindle, Little Time to Reverse Neglect of Health, Education

(Paris, June 15, 2017) – Equatorial Guinea’s mismanagement of its oil wealth has contributed to chronic underfunding of its public health and education systems in violation of its human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
After spending several million dollars on government buildings in Malabo, the capital, and Bata, the nation’s economic center, Equatorial Guinea is pouring billions of dollars into building a new administrative capital, Oyala, in the middle of the jungle.
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

Setback for Efforts to Curb Fast-Growing HIV Epidemic

The Philippine Department of Education this week rejected a proposal to distribute condoms in public high schools. The proposal, made by the Department of Health, was an overdue response to the country’s worsening human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)…
Students receive free condoms at an event organized by the United Nations Population Fund in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, July 11, 2014.
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