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Adopt Policy to Ensure Students Return, Receive Support

(Nairobi) – The Sierra Leone government’s decision to allow girls who are pregnant or have a child to attend school is an important step to improve education for girls in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 30, 2020,…
A group of students walk to school in Sierra Leone
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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
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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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Pregnant teenagers and their right to education are in the spotlight again, this time as Sierra Leone tries to ban “visibly pregnant” girls from taking their exams in primary and secondary school. The “ban” comes just two weeks after President Jacob Zuma…
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Annual Visual Journalism Award Honors Filmmaker Killed in Libya

The photojournalist Fernando Moreles has been awarded the second Tim Hetherington Grant, an annual visual journalism award focusing on human rights, Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo announced today. Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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Measure to Prosecute Recruiters Abroad Puts Commanders on Notice

(New York) - Under a new law signed today by US President George W. Bush, leaders of military forces and armed groups who have recruited child soldiers may be arrested and prosecuted in the United States, Human Rights Watch said today. The law could apply…
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(New York) - The war crimes court for Sierra Leone has handed down the first convictions by a UN-backed tribunal for the crime of recruiting and using child soldiers. Human Rights Watch said that these convictions are a ground-breaking step toward ending…
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Preventing New Atrocities Requires Ending the Cycle That Drives Regional Mercenaries

(New York) — Thousands of young men and boys, many of whom have committed atrocities while fighting in West Africa’s brutal civil wars, face re-recruitment into the region’s emerging conflicts, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.…
Report
Youth, Poverty and Blood: The Lethal Legacy of West Africa's Regional Warriors I. Summary II. Recommendations To the Governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Côte d'Ivoire To All Governments donating funds to Liberia To the…
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Sir Emyr Jones Parry U.K. Ambassador to the U.N. Your Excellency,  For over a decade, Human Rights Watch has monitored crisis and conflict in West Africa, documented human rights abuses, and pressed for action to stop the abuses. Human Rights Watch…
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Success in Fighting AIDS Hinges on Protecting Rights of Women and Girls

(New York, December 1, 2003) — Violence and discrimination against women and girls is fueling Africa’s AIDS crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today on World AIDS Day. African governments must make gender equality a central part 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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Prioritize Protection of Civilians in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia

(New York) - The U.N. Security Council should hold governments in West Africa accountable for their support of abusive regimes and rebel groups, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper presented to the Security Council today. Members of the Security…
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A Briefing Paper to the U.N. Security Council

Liberia: Upsurge in Fighting and Humanitarian CrisisCôte d'Ivoire: On the PrecipiceGuineaSierra Leone    The Sierra Leone Special CourtProtection of Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and ECOWAS NationalsChild SoldiersUse of Proxy Forces and Support…
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Liberian President Must Be Arrested

(New York) - Liberian President Charles Taylor should be arrested by the government of any country he travels to, now that his indictment has been announced by the Sierra Leone Special Court, Human Rights Watch said today. The Liberian president was…