Seated at a table in the dimly lit café in Philadelphia’s public library, Carolyn Hill looks no different from her fellow diners. A few minutes of conversation, though, are enough to reveal the extent of her distress.
Logging is the largest industry in the Solomon Islands, an archipelago located northwest of Fiji, where 80 percent of the islands are covered in tropical rainforest. But, although timber accounts for 60 percent of this South Pacific nation’s export earnings, most local communities have experienced no beneficial development.
An array of colourful quarter pipes, bank ramps and a fun box come to life as a clutch of Cambodian youngsters do balancing tricks, kick-flips and kick turns. The all-girl session at a skating facility near the Russian Market here is facilitated by 20-year-old Kov Chansangva, popularly known as Tin.
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.
Mustafa Khan, who sells cigarettes by the roadside in a Pakistani village, has a simple reason for sending two of his sons to a madrassa, an Islamic seminary, and not to a proper school. “We cannot afford it,” he says.
Gabi was born six years ago biologically male, but dressed up as a princess and wore necklaces and long hair so that everyone saw a little girl instead.
Rahmatullah Balal has spent ten years counting the schools that aren’t. The particular kind of Pakistani schools that are called “ghost” schools.
Amani has just turned 22. Two months ago she fled from the civil war in Syria and left her house in capital Damascus. After a dangerous nightlong trip she arrived at Zaatari, the refugee camp just over the border in Jordan, where her parents and two sisters had already lived for over a year.
Before we begin, perhaps we can set aside the stereotypes: no, she didn’t "mess herself up by following boys around", and no, it is not in fact her fault that she became pregnant.
With a wide smile Beatrice M.* says that she lives by the motto “life is short and beautiful — live it to the full.” The 20-year-old, HIV-positive mother refuses to be defeated by her new circumstances.
Back in Swat Valley in Pakistan where she comes from, Malala Yousafzai who had been tipped to win the Nobel peace prize this year, has not only left behind more girls in school now than there were a year ago but also large numbers of people who are now distanced – and even hostile – to her.
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.
Twenty-eight-year-old Omar Zaib, a taxi driver in Lahore, capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province, confessed in court last month to drowning his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter because he wanted a son. A few days later, the media reported that two newborn girls had been found abandoned at a railway station.
A police cordon kept everyone out of the Buenaventura “corrala” on Thursday after the police evicted 13 families living in the occupied building in the centre of this southern Spanish city early in the morning.
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.