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Revoke Decree; Allow Pregnant Girls, Young Mothers to Attend School

(Nairobi) – Tanzania’s ban on pregnant students and adolescent mothers attending school has denied tens of thousands of girls their right to education, Human Rights Watch said today. Public schools across mainland Tanzania conduct compulsory pregnancy…
The flag of the United Republic of Tanzania.
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Five More Sub-Saharan Countries Act to Protect Girls’ Education; Barriers Remain

(Nairobi) – African countries have taken important steps in recent years to protect the right to education of pregnant students and adolescent mothers, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2019, at least five sub-Saharan African countries –…
Young mothers at secondary school in Kenya
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Government Should Prioritize Prevention, Eradication, and Services for Survivors

On August 14, Ecuador commemorated the country’s first national day against sexual violence in schools. A year ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Ecuador responsible for the violations of Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s rights. Paola, who…
Judges at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hear the case Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s mother brought against Ecuador in San José, Costa Rica on January 28, 2020.
News

90th Pre-Session

We write in advance of the 90th pre-session of the Committee on Rights of the Child and its adoption of a list of issues prior to reporting regarding Ecuador’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This submission includes information…
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President Suluhu Should Support Education of Pregnant Girls

Tanzania’s first woman president, Samia Suluhu, took office in March 2021. Her administration has the opportunity to call on education authorities to end the exclusion of pregnant and married girls from public schools. She should urge them to adopt a…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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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
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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

Investigations, Justice, Reparations Needed

(New York) – Thousands of children and adolescents have suffered school-related sexual violence in Ecuador since 2014, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While Ecuador has taken important steps to tackle the issue and expedite justice…
Evelyn Yucailla, 23, a survivor of school-related sexual violence and activist, holds a local newspaper from the city of Ambato, Ecuador. The frontpage headline reads: “Young teacher is guilty.”
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(New York, December 9, 2020) – Thousands of children and adolescents have suffered school-related sexual violence in Ecuador since 2014, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While Ecuador has taken important steps to…
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Governments Should Urgently Tackle Education-Related Abuses

(London) – Governments around the world should urgently step up efforts to ensure students’ safety at school and in online spaces, Human Rights Watch said today on the first International Day against Violence and Bullying at School Including…
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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.
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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…
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Government Should Fully Implement Inter-American Court Ruling

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights last week ruled against Ecuador in its first ever case on school-related sexual violence in the Americas. In 2001, a public school vice principal in the city of Guayaquil began raping a 14-year-old pupil,…
The flag of Ecuador. 
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New Q&A on Discrimination Against Pregnant Students, Young Mothers

(Washington, DC, April 24, 2020) – The World Bank should work with the Tanzanian government to ensure that all pregnant girls and adolescent mothers can attend public schools, Human Rights Watch said in a question and answer document…
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Should Require End to Ban on Pregnant Girls’ Schooling

(Washington, DC) – The World Bank has approved a US$500 million education loan to Tanzania without requiring the government to end its policy of expelling pregnant schoolgirls, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 31, 2020, the World…
© 2017 Marco Tibasima for Human Rights Watch
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Require Government to Admit all Girls Before Approving Education Loan

(Washington, DC) – The World Bank may reverse its hold on a US$500 million education loan to Tanzania despite the government’s policy of expelling pregnant schoolgirls. On January 28, 2020, the World Bank Board of Executive…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News
In late 2018, Sierra Leone's First Lady, Fatima Bio, opened a national campaign "Hands Off Our Girls."   Her campaign made big promises to reduce child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country, in part to tackle the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya