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Summary I have to censor myself. This is the reality. I come to Australia and still I’m not free. —Lei Chen (pseudonym), student from mainland China describing his experience studying in an Australian university, September 25, 2020 You have…
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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. 
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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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Education Minister Wrong to Limit Students’ Free Expression

Hong Kong’s secretary for education, Kevin Yeung, must have skipped the class on children’s rights. This week, Yeung banned school students from singing or playing certain political songs at school, saying children’s right to expression “is not…
Children wait for a school bus in Hong Kong, November 20, 2019.
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‘Bilingual’ Policy Threatens Tibetan-Medium Education

(London) – China’s “bilingual education” policy has accelerated the demise of Tibetan-medium instruction in primary schools in Tibetan areas, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The policy, carried out over the past decade in the…
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(New York, March 5, 2020) – China’s “bilingual education” policy has accelerated the demise of Tibetan-medium instruction in primary schools in Tibetan areas, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The policy, carried out over the past decade…
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Summary So this is bilingual education: In theory, it means you can do both [languages]. It sounds beautiful. But in practice, the working language [in schools and offices] even at the township [rural] level is becoming Chinese. —Tibetan university…
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New 12-Point Code of Conduct to Help Educational Institutions Respond

(New York) – Institutions of higher learning around the world should resist the Chinese government’s efforts to undermine academic freedom abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 21, 2019, Human Rights Watch published a 12-point Code…
Then Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping makes a speech at the opening of Australia's first Chinese Medicine Confucius Institute, at the RMIT University in Melbourne on June 20, 2010.
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Authorities Declare Informal Sessions in Monasteries ‘Dangerous’

(New York) – Chinese authorities in Qinghai province should immediately lift their ban on Tibetan children attending classes in local monasteries, Human Rights Watch said today. Informal classes taught by monks during school holidays have become…
The ban in Qinghai’s Nangchen county, published in December 2018, is titled “Urgent notice concerning stopping illegal study classes in monasteries.”
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Reunite Families; End Mass Arbitrary Detention

(New York) – The Chinese government should release to their families children held in orphanages in Xinjiang because their parents have been arbitrarily detained, Human Rights Watch said today. The Financial Times and the Associated…
China Xinjiang
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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
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  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.
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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.
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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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Politically Motivated Trial Shows Beijing’s Contempt for Minority Rights

(New York) – The Chinese authorities’ baseless prosecution of a Tibetan language rights activist demonstrates the government’s contempt for the rights of minority peoples, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 22, 2018, a court in Yushu prefecture…
An exile Tibetan wearing a mask in the likeness of Tashi Wangchuk, stands next to a screen projecting a New York Times video during a street protest demanding his release, in Dharmsala, India. © 2018 AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia