Children Under Siege

Landgrabbing in Ethiopia: Legal Lease or Stolen Soil?

Kneeling in the middle of a sugar cane field in blistering 40 degree heat, a young boy is digging up weeds while an Indian worker stands over him to make sure he does not miss any. Red is eight years old and earns 73 pence for one day's work - less than the cost of using pesticides.

XO laptop Credit: Geoff Parsons - CC BY-SA 2.0

ARGENTINA: Digital Revolution Hits Secondary Schools

Every student and teacher has a laptop with Internet connection in half of the public secondary schools in Argentina, even in remote rural villages or on islands.

Devastation from the Mar. 11 tsunami that crippled Fukushima. Credit:  Suvendrini Kakuchi/IPS

JAPAN: Women Fight to Save Fukushima’s Children

Hundreds of Japanese women have been converging on the Japanese capital demanding better relief for some 30,000 children exposed to nuclear radiation by the Fukushima meltdown.

Girls participating in Creating Opportunities activities in Antigua.  Credit: Danilo Valladares/IPS

GUATEMALA: “We Want Girls to Be Visible”

"I learned to not be afraid, and to love myself. Before, I never wanted to talk to people because I felt like they looked down on me and that I was no good," says 12-year-old Hilda Tura, one of the participants in a programme fostering leadership among indigenous girls in Guatemala.

Fertilisers produced by plants like this factory in Izúcar, which protesters blocked after a chemical explosion in 2010, often contain cadmium.  Credit:  Emilio Godoy/IPS

Mexico Hides Cadmium Under the Rug

Despite the threat cadmium poses to health and the environment, Mexico has no plan to reduce the use of the heavy metal in the production of toys and industrial products like batteries and fertiliser.

Former child solider Mulume* (far left) feels hopeless about his future.  Credit:  Einberger/argum/EED/IPS

DR CONGO: Rehabilitating Former Child Soldiers Who “Liked” Killing

Murhula’s* life changed forever when he was nine years old. It was the year that he learned to kill, torture and rape.

Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani Credit: Courtesy of Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani

Q&A: Doha Summit to Boost Education on World’s Political Agenda

As digital technology begins to spread across classrooms the world over, the United Nations says the next generation of children will be educated far differently from their counterparts in the past.

A primary school student erases the blackboard in his classroom, in Harar, Ethiopia. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

UNESCO Study Reveals Widening Secondary Education Gap

Arguing that an educated population is a country's greatest wealth, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) says there is no escape from poverty without a vast expansion of secondary education worldwide.

In the so-called malaria belt centred around the Equator, the disease is often transmitted year-round. Credit: U.S. CDC

Malaria Elimination Possible Within Decades

Dr. Rick Steketee, science director at the Malaria Control Partnership at PATH, a leading nonprofit organisation dedicated to public health in the Pacific northwest city of Seattle, isn't alone when he says that elimination of the infectious disease is a possibility.

UZBEKISTAN: Forced Child Labour Kills

A 13-year-old boy has become the latest victim of state-sponsored forced child labour in Uzbekistan as its regime continues to ignore boycotts and international condemnation of its practices during the country’s annual cotton harvest.

The plasmodium parasite, seen here in the ring stage taken from a blood smear, is transmitted through infected mosquitoes. Credit: Bobjgalindo/wikimedia commons

Potential Vaccine Halves Malaria Risk for Children

In a major breakthrough Tuesday, researchers announced that the vaccine candidate RTS,S reduces the risk of malaria by half in children ages five to 17 months, first results from a continuing phase three trial showed.

A girls

Qatar Launches New Global Award to Promote Education

The internationally-renowned Nobel Prizes have been awarded annually for superlative achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace.

Vanesa Coicué's desk is empty. Her friends don't want to sit in that classroom anymore.  Credit: Constanza Vieira/IPS

COLOMBIA: “I Was Ready for Anything – Except for Mourning a Daughter”

In the wooden, sheet-metal roofed house, the exact spot where Vanesa Coicué, an 11-year-old Nasa Indian girl, fell is marked by white and yellow chrysanthemums in a plastic soda bottle, along with a lit candle and an orange tree seedling.

GUATEMALA: Little Headway against Rampant Malnutrition

"If we can manage it, we buy something at the butcher's every 15 days, even if it's only a bone, although we normally just eat maize and beans," says Marvin Fajardo, a small-scale farmer and father of three from the southern Guatemalan province of Escuintla.

INDIA: Rampant Child Labour Goes Unaddressed In Kashmir

Fourteen-year-old Shafat Ahmad works as a domestic helper in the house of a Srinagar-based government employee in Kashmir. His younger sister embroiders shawls in an unregistered textile venture in her native village of Beeru.

New Methods Aim to Reduce Child Soldier Recruitment

In the last decade, more than two million children have died as a result of armed conflicts and over one million have been orphaned or separated from their families. Yet for children affected by wars, these costs are only a few of the high price children pay, says the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

U.S.: Obama Waives Aid Curbs on Militaries Using Child Soldiers

For the second year in a row, U.S. President Barack Obama has waived a Congressionally-mandated ban on military aid for four countries that use child soldiers.

JAPAN: New Radiation Limits Demanded for Children

The threat of radioactive contamination faced particularly by children after the Mar. 11 nuclear disaster in Japan has touched the heart of the Japanese public, and become a major political and social issue.

UZBEKISTAN: Don’t Let Logistics Trump Rights, Groups Tell Clinton

A broad coalition of 20 human rights, labour and consumer groups is appealing to the administration of President Barack Obama not to renew military aid and sales to Uzbekistan, widely considered one of the world's most repressive dictatorships.

Children play in the kitchen corner of one of El Salvador's gender-neutral preschools. Credit: Courtesy of Plan International

Tapping Boys in the Struggle for Girls’ Equal Rights

Brothers, husbands, boyfriends and fathers are key actors in the creation of a world where girls enjoy the same rights as boys, and will themselves benefit from greater gender equality, stresses a new report from Plan International released Thursday.

Uneven Results in Bid to Halt Needless Mother and Child Deaths

Political, private sector and civil society leaders from around the world gathered here on Tuesday to recommit to a year-old initiative, Every Woman Every Child, which aims to prevent 16 million maternal and child deaths by 2015.

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