Children on the Frontline

OP-ED: Europe’s Commitment to Africa’s Children is Still Needed

As African and European leaders meet in Brussels this week under the theme of “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace", it is clear Africa’s greatest natural resource, its children, must be centre stage. 

Teen Pregnancy Rising in Zimbabwe

She is only 17, but each morning is a reminder of her losses in life. As Pretty Nyathi* forces herself out of bed, feeds her baby, bundles him on her back and rushes to the market to buy vegetables to sell on the streets of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe she wishes her life were different.

Fear of HIV Testing Among Zimbabwe’s Teens

Seventeen-year-old Natalie Mlambo* has two good reasons to get tested for HIV. She has two boyfriends and has unprotected sex with them. One is a high school classmate. The other is older, works in a bank, and can afford to give Mlambo small gifts and some money.

OP-ED: Why Keeping Girls in School Can Help South Sudan

Mary K. loved to study and wanted to be an accountant. However, when she was 16 and in class six (grade eight), her father forced her to leave school to marry a 50-year-old man who paid him 60 cows.

New Laws May Fail to Protect Children in Sri Lanka

Stricter laws could curb the rising trend of child abuse in Sri Lanka, experts say. However, recommendations like witness protection, special courts and procedures to hear abuse cases and more legal assistance to victims are unlikely to be included in a new draft Child Protection Policy that is to be presented to parliament before the end of the year.

Somalia Takes Teaching to the Extreme

Mukhatar Jama has been teaching at a secondary school in Mogadishu for the past decade. Religious education is part and parcel of the curriculum of all schools in Somalia, but he says most parents are unaware of exactly what their children are being taught – a radical form of Islam.

Relief Brings Its Own Disasters

In Uttarakhand, the small Indian state in the Himalayan foothills that was a victim of flash floods that killed at least a thousand people in June this year and uprooted thousands of families, the story is told of a child who went every day to the helipad, believing his father will return when, in fact, the father died in the floods.

OP-ED: Getting Children Into Somalia’s Classrooms

Somalia is well-known for being a country torn apart by decades of conflict, by hunger and instability. Today, with fragile stability emerging and a new government in place, there is an opportunity to define a new future of peace, prosperity and justice.



Hopeful but Homesick in Peshawar Schools

“I miss my mother and cry every night,” eight-year-old Afaq Ali tells IPS. He is a Class 5 student at the University Public School in Peshawar, capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the administrative centre for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to its west.

Poor Picked for ‘Paradise’

“I consider myself lucky after finding my son,” says Muhammad Jabeen, a juice vendor in Bannu, one of the 25 districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northern Pakistan. The Taliban had taken his son, Mateen Shah, away from a madrassa to join their ranks.

Spanish Baby Theft Case Crosses the Atlantic

The mystery still surrounding the massive business of stealing and buying babies, practised for decades in Spain by the regime of Francisco Franco (1939-1975), could start to be clarified in courtrooms in Argentina.

DR Congo Armed Groups Increase Child Recruitment

Over 2,000 children are still being used as soldiers by 27 armed groups in North Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo despite efforts by the United Nations Children’s Fund to remove them from the frontlines and return them to their homes.

What Egypt Is Blind To

Dina Gamal, whose 10-year-old son was born blind, says it is not him but Egyptian society that lives in the dark.

One Recipe for the Homeless

Following the death of his parents when he was just four, Samlain Chey, now 22, found himself living on the streets along the river near the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Until he met a social worker from Mith Samlanh.

Music as Social Inclusion Shines in Salzburg

A sea of white-gloved hands swaying gracefully to the rhythm of tropical music shows the audience in the hallowed Mozarteum concert hall in this Austrian city how Venezuela is combining musical education and social inclusion.

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