Blog Archive

Nigeria's Military needs to face Justice

Since 2011 the Nigerian military has arrested at least 20,000 people in north-east Nigeria on su#@$%ion of being Boko Haram members. More than 7,000 suspects died in military detention from torture, starvation, disease or were simply shot. The new President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, and his government have the power to end these deaths, as well as other crimes committed by the military, and they must start by holding those responsible for the acts. The new government must begin to investigate the horrible actions committed by the military.

ISIS and Sex Slavery

In the Middle East, mothers with babies are separated by members of ISIS because it is the younger women who they want to take. Younger women are examined to see if they are virgins, and the younger and prettier they are, the more likely they are to get taken to ISIS' headquarters in Raqqa. The rest are taken to open markets, where they will end up being auctioned after being examined like cattle. Not only is this completely unlawful but it is horrible to do to anyone. Being taken from your families just to be sold off and used as a sex slave.

Hope for Central American Families Seeking Asylum

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced recently that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would finally discontinue long-term detention of families who have established eligibility for asylum. To be eligible for this refugee admissions program, the child must first have a parent lawfully present in the United States. That parent must be able to submit a detailed relationship petition and put up about $650 for DNA testing. Both parent and child must undergo DNA testing. If all of these conditions are met, the child is subjected to four interviews.

Child Laborers in Ghana Gold Mines

International gold refiners who use gold from Ghana may be benefitting from hazardous child labor in unlicensed mines. The refiners should take immediate steps to eliminate child labor in their supply chains. It is estimated that thousands of children work in hazardous conditions in violation of Ghanaian and international law. They pull the gold ore out of shafts, carry and crush loads of ore, and process it with toxic mercury. Most child laborers are between the ages of 15 and 17, but younger children also work in Ghana’s mines. This can no longer be allowed!

Children In Gaza Severely Impacted

Something that seems to have been forgotten in the midst of the rising of ISIS and other conflicts is the issue that continues in Gaza. The fighting began one year ago and lasted for 51 days. In Gaza, Israeli attacks from land, air, and sea killed 551 children and injured 3436, ten percent of them suffering a permanent disability. Then on the other side in Israel, one child was killed by the Palestinian rocket and mortar fire; dozens more were wounded and suffered trauma from the attacks. The destruction in Gaza is vast. About 100,000 people remain homeless, many of them children.

Palestinian Children Hard At Work

Israeli settlement farms in the West Bank are using Palestinian child labor to grow, harvest, and pack agricultural produce. The farms pay the children low wages and subject them to dangerous working conditions in violation of international standards. Children as young as 11 work on some settlement farms, often in high temperatures. The children carry heavy loads, are exposed to hazardous pesticides, and in some cases have to pay, themselves for medical treatment for work-related injuries or illness. Israel’s settlements are profiting from right's abuses against Palestinian children.

Girls Attacked for Going To School

Attackers on a motorbike threw acid in the faces of three teenage girls on their way to school in Afghanistan's western Herat province on Saturday. The girls, age 16 to 18, are students at one of the biggest girls' schools in Herat city. Two of the girls were in critical condition after the acid was thrown in their faces. "This is the punishment for going to school," the men told the girls after pouring the acid on them. How could we live in a world where just going to school means you get hurt and possibly even killed. We have to end this!

South Sudan, Lets End the War

The scale of the crisis facing South Sudan is hard to understand. 2 million people have been displaced as the country has tumbled back into a greed-driven war that has also left almost half the population without enough food to eat. The United States and South Sudan's neighbors must urgently find a new approach to peacemaking that creates a more effective peace process, one with serious consequences for the South Sudanese government and rebel leaders who continue to worsen the war. South Sudan was born in 2011 when it received its independence from Sudan.

Haitian Families at Risk of Deportation

Tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent remain without proper documentation, and are unable to exercise their basic rights as they are considered undocumented aliens to a country they call home. Dominicans of Haitian descent are still unable to access basic life functions such as registering children at birth, enrolling in school and college, participating in the formal economy, or travelling around the country without risk of expulsion.

David Cameron Helping Child Marriage End

It was less impacting and involving than the Angelina Jolie-backed Foreign Office initiative to combat sexual violence in conflict, but the British government was also active internationally on child marriage. This includes a “Girl Summit” hosted last summer in London by David Cameron and attended by several world leaders. As David Cameron said at the Girl Summit: “Politicians are very good at passing laws… but aren’t always good at following through and making sure that a change in the law leads to a change in culture and a change in practice.” He’s right.