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Sexual Exploitation and Harassment Also Widespread in Secondary Schools

A hard-hitting BBC television documentary, Sex for Grades, has uncovered rampant sexual abuse, harassment, and bullying of students at two prestigious universities in Nigeria and Ghana, and launched what will hopefully be a new movement.   …
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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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…
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Government Should Ensure Program Benefits Poorest and Rural Students

On September 12, Ghana’s new President Nana Akufo-Addo made good on his campaign promise to deliver free secondary education for children across the country. The President pledged “there will be no admission fees, no library fees…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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Mercury Treaty to Enter Into Force

The fight against global toxic pollution has reached a critical milestone: the 50th country has ratified the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury, triggering its entry into force in August. Mercury is a shiny liquid…
A 12-year-old boy shows the mercury he carries in his trousers’ pockets for gold processing in Homase, Amansie Central district, Ashanti Region, Ghana.
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When I visited the small-scale — or “galamsey”—gold mines in the Ashanti Region earlier this year, I met  “Kwame,” a quiet but self-assured 12-year-old. He dropped out of primary school about a year ago to help his mother feed his five younger siblings…
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One Year On, Governments Should Commit to Action

(New York) – Governments should make an urgent commitment to protect people from the harmful effects of mercury by signing and ratifying the new Minamata Convention on Mercury, Human Rights Watch said today, on the eve of a high-level UN event about the…
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Ministers Should Endorse, Implement Minamata Convention

(Geneva) – Health ministers should pledge to take comprehensive action to prevent and treat the negative health effects of mercury, a toxic chemical, Human Rights Watch said today. The World Health Assembly is scheduled to discuss a resolution on the new…
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Governments Should Sign, Ratify to Protect Environment, Health

Governments around the world should immediately sign the new, groundbreaking Minamata Convention on Mercury, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials around the world will meet in Kumamoto, Japan beginning October 7, 2013, to formally adopt the treaty.…
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Enforce Safety Standards, Prevent Child Labor in Artisanal Gold Mining

(Johannesburg) – A recent mining accident that killed 16 people at an unlicensed artisanal gold mine in Ghana underscores the need for tougher measures to end child labor and protect the safety of adult artisanal miners, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Imagine being taken to the hospital by a family member against your will, put in a solitary cell and forced to sleep, eat and defecate in the same 4x4 space. Imagine telling your nurses that you don’t want to take a certain medication because it causes…
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When we met Elijah early this year in Ghana, he was chained to a tree at a “prayer camp.” Five months earlier, his family had him bound with rope and forcibly taken to the camp for “treatment.” Elijah told me that he had been chained to the tree ever…
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Take Steps to Improve Plight of Mentally Disabled

People with mental disabilities suffer severe abuses in psychiatric institutions and spiritual healing centers in Ghana, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Ghanaian government has done little to combat such abuse or to ensure that…
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People With Mental Disabilities Need Protection, Community-based Programs

(Nairobi) – The announcement by the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs on August 21, 2012, of Ghana’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities affirmed Ghana’s commitment to respect the human rights of…
Report
POLICY PARALYSIS: A CALL FOR ACTION ON HIV/AIDS-RELATED HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS IN AFRICA      SUMMARY II. ABUSES OF WOMEN AND GIRLS THAT FUEL HIV/AIDS.. HIV/AIDS and Abuse of Girls Risks to Women and Girls in…
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U.S. President George W. Bush will be traveling to Africa from July 7-12, visiting Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Nigeria. This packet from Human Rights Watch includes material for each stop along the way. A brief overview of the Bush…
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Child labor on cocoa farms 'tip of the iceberg'

(New York, April 1, 2003) - West African governments are failing to address a rampant traffic in child labor that could worsen with the region’s growing AIDS crisis, Human Rights Watch charged in a new report released today. The 79-page report, “…