Blog Archive

Chechen Official involved In Polygamous Marriage

Nazhud Guchigov, 57, who is the Chechen police chief and also known as a close associate of the republic’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, is already married with children and now he has a second proposed bride, Kheda Goylabieva, who just turned 17 this month. Although Russian law allows neither polygamous marriages nor marriages before 18, Guchigov apparently plans to take this girl as his second wife in an Islamic marriage. The marriage is not recognized under the Chechen law so the wife is entitled to no legal or property rights.

Education Forum Meeting This Week

The World Education Forum, one of the most important and decisive global meetings on education, is taking place in South Korea this week. In one of the previous meetings they had decided on six universal education goals which are: Expand early childhood care and education, Provide free and compulsory primary education for all, Promote learning and life skills for young people and adults, Increase adult literacy by 50 percent, Achieve gender parity by 2005, gender equality by 2015, and Improve the quality of education.

Educational Discrimination Should Not Be Allowed

Two years ago in India, 10-year-old Madhu walked up to the microphone at a public hearing and spoke about how she was chased away from a government school in Patna by teachers because she was a Musahar Dalit and considered “dirty” by them. After hearing Madhu’s story, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in charge of enforcing the Right to Education Act, intervened and 50 Dalit children from her slum were enrolled in a properly running government school.

Laws Don't Need To Be Enforced to Make an Impact

Laws, even when rarely enforced, can send a powerful message. The reason I say this is that in the US and around the world there have been many laws especially those pertaining to the LGBT community that can make an impact on their lives in negative ways. In 2000 for example, some states in the US had laws in the books criminalizing #@$% and #@$% sex between consenting adults. Even if people were hardly ever prosecuted under those laws, they could be used to fire #@$% men and #@$%s or withdraw job offers.

LGBT Community Getting Some Support

Recently the White House announced its support for ending the use of “conversion therapies” for #@$%, #@$%, bisexual and transgender people under 18. These therapies that aim to “cure” or “convert” #@$% or transgender people have failed to produce any proof that they work or are safe. Professionals actually believe that these therapies are ineffective and harmful. Children have the right to discover and be accepted for who they are. Growing up healthy sometimes involves changing one’s mind, and children may need to talk honestly about this possibility with a therapist.

The Child Soldier Locked Up

When Omar Khadr first arrived at Guantanamo Bay in 2002, he was a baby-faced 15-year-old and one of the military prison’s youngest detainees. Khadr’s case was a mess from the very start. Just 12 hours after sustaining life-threatening gunshot wounds to the chest in an Afghanistan firefight, he was interrogated while strapped to a stretcher, and said he was threatened with rape if he refused to cooperate. He was abused in many ways while in Guantanamo Bay and he wasn't the only one. There are numerous reports of people being abused within the prison.

French Troops Abusing

Recent reports are giving new information about the war in the Central African Republic. During the conflict that began in 2013, thousands of civilians fled the fighting so when French troops arrived in Bangui, the CAR capital, in December 2013, many took refuge near their base, believing they would be safer there. Sadly, according to a United Nations report, some French soldiers acted as abusers instead of protectors, sexually abusing children in exchange for food or money.

Child Soldiers Used In Yemen

Since September 2014, when the Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, they have more and more used children as scouts, guards, runners, and fighters, with some children being wounded and killed. In recent months, journalists in Yemen have reported seeing boys between 14 and 16 with rifles and handguns fighting for Houthi forces and other armed groups. One described seeing a 7-year-old boy at a Houthi checkpoint in Sanaa with a military assault rifle. Human Rights Watch interviewed a recruiter from Houthis.

Yezidi Girls Escaped ISIS Grasps

Last August, the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, attacked Iraq’s Yezidi community. Thousands ran away without food or water into the nearby Sinjar mountains, but ISIS fighters killed many, executing men and abducting thousands of people, mainly women and children. Rumors of forced marriage and enslavement of Yezidi girls and women swirled, and were later confirmed as some women and girls escaped. Human Rights Watch researchers Samer Muscati and Rothna Begum interviewed 20 of these women and girls and shared their findings with reporters.

Boko Haram's Long Lasting Effect

The shocking abduction of 276 girls from a secondary school in Nigeria last April 14 attracted world attention to the Boko Haram Islamist Group. One year later, the news remains blank and there is no new information about the poor girls. Boko Haram still holds 219 of the schoolgirls and hundreds of other abducted women and girls, many forced to convert to Islam and “marry” their captors. In March, media reported that Boko Haram fighters abducted and fled with more than 400 women and children in the northern town of Damasak.