Upcoming country visit of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries to Côte d’Ivoire.

Presented by Ariel Ozdemir and Caren Thomas

The history of Côte d’Ivoire shows periods of political instability and coups. The 2002 Ivorian Civil War deepened the divisions within the country. 1 The presidential election in 2010 highlighted the power struggle between the candidates, which increased the political and ethnic tensions in the country. This constant state of political instability and civil unrest can contribute to Ivorian nationals’ being more susceptible to recruitment into mercenary activities. The lawlessness prevalent within Côte d’Ivoire may force individuals to seek stability or financial gain from different sources.
Despite Côte d’Ivoire being the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, the country’s 46.3 per cent of its population is below the poverty line. Gender inequalities continue to persist within the country. This is noticed right from the grassroot level. Only 52 per cent of the girls have completed secondary education in the country compared to 63 per cent of the boys. Additionally, the fluctuations in cocoa, coffee, and palm oil export prices severely impact the Ivorians as their livelihoods depend on these commodities. 2

However, despite the progress in domestic legal responses to mercenarism in Côte d’Ivoire, the country has yet to ratify the 1989 Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries. While the country supported the 3rd Cycle UPR recommendation to ratify the convention, the mid-term assessment outlined the lack of any substantial actions to do so. 6 As a result, Côte d’Ivoire still has substantial further progress to make in its fight against the use of mercenaries. An optimistic sign as to potential future progress on ratification can be found in the Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs’ 2019 speech, in which he asserted Ivorian support for the convention and urged those nations to ratify the convention that had not yet done so. However, whether this declaration represents a wider domestic desire to begin the ratification process is yet unclear.

PMC activities pose significant threats to Ivorian stability. Foreign actors have been exporting PMC and military equipment to many countries on the African continent, and Côte d’Ivoire is no exception. Two principal PMC’s have a strong presence in the country, namely the French PMC CorpGuard 12 and the Russian Wagner group. Since 2017, CorpGuard, founded by Secopex’ co-founder David Hornus, which is itself active in Somalia and the CAR, has been training the Ivorian military. 13 According to CorpGuard, during a 9-month training period they set up 4 infantry companies, 1 operational center, and trained 1,235 soldiers “to United Nations standards”. 14
Despite being strongly marketed as harbingers of peace and allegedly participating in the transformation of Ivorian military personnel from “soldiers in war” to “soldiers of peace”, 15 the complete lack of regulation of PMCs has resulted in an inability to enforce legitimacy and accountability. In this light, CorpGuard’s training of President Alassane Ouattara’s military can be understood to have had a direct impact on the 2020 electoral violence.

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References

1 Tayoh, B. (2009). Background information. In Property Taxation in Francophone West Africa: Case Study of Côte d’Ivoire (pp. 1–4). Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. http://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep18288.3
2 Nelson, N. (2020). The Top 3 Causes of Poverty in Côte d’Ivoire. The Borgen Project. https://borgenproject.org/poverty-in-cote-divoire/

6 S.E.M. Marcel Amon-Tanoh. “Conseil De Sécurité Des Nations Unies Débat Public De Haut Niveau Sur Le Thème: Les Activités Mercenaires Comme Source D’insecurite Et De Destabilisation En Afrique Centrale Déclaration De S.E.M. Marcel Amon-Tanoh Ministre Des Affaires Étrangères De La République De Côte d’Ivoire.” New York, February 4, 2019. https://press.un.org/fr/2019/cs13688.doc.htm

12 Note: David Hornus rejects the description of CorpGuard as a PMC and claims that “CorpGuard is an operational security and defense service company which does not meet the designation of a private military company.” source: Martin, Elise. “Armée: de Lyon à la Côte d’Ivoire, pourquoi la société « de sécurité et de défense » CorpGuard interroge?” 20 Minutes, April 28, 2023. https://www.20minutes.fr/societe/4034203-20230428-armee-lyon-cote-ivoire-pourquoi-societe-securite-defense-corpguard-interroge
13 Kadlec, Amanda. “In Africa, Wagner Is Not the Only Game in Town.” New Lines Magazine (blog), July 17, 2023. https://newlinesmag.com/spotlight/in-africa-wagner-is-not-the-only-game-in-town/
14 CorpGuard. “Developments And Challenges of Peacekeeping Operation in The French-Speaking World 2017-2020.” CORPGUARD Conseil International (blog), May 26, 2020. https://www.corpguard.com/fr/evolutions-et-defis-du-maintien-de-la-paix-dans-lespace-francophone/
15 Observatoire. “Table ronde du 4 octobre 2017 – 3ème panel.” OBG, October 7, 2017. https://www.observatoire-boutros-ghali.org/2017/10/table-ronde-du-4-octobre-2017-3/

Country Visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Presented by Merve Tiregul

Recent data spanning from March 2020 to June 2021 further highlights this disparity, indicating that black women were 14% less likely to be referred to Refuge for assistance by the police compared to their white counterparts who are survivors of domestic abuse. 2 The data implies a systematic failure by the police to adequately support Black women against domestic abuse. According to Victim Support’s research in 2022, victims of domestic abuse, particularly from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds, often face dismissal and marginalisation by the police. The study found that nearly half of Black and ethnic minority respondents felt that the police treated them differently due to their heritage. Over half of all respondents reported instances of domestic abuse multiple times before receiving appropriate police action, with almost a quarter needing to report three times or more. Despite increased reports of domestic abuse, recent data from the Office for National Statistics shows an 8% rise in related offences, underlining the urgent need for improved support and response mechanisms for victims. 3

According to a 2020 survey conducted in the UK, Black, minoritised women, and non-binary individuals were more prone to experiencing online violence during COVID-19, with many reporting worsened abuse during the pandemic. This emphasises the necessity of adopting responses that incorporate an intersectional perspective. 46% of the participants indicated they had encountered online abuse since the onset of COVID-19. This percentage rose to 50% among Black and minoritised women and nonbinary individuals. Among survey participants who encountered online abuse in the year prior to the survey, 29% noted that it intensified during the COVID-19 period. Black and minoritised women and non-binary individuals were disproportionately affected, with 38% indicating that the pandemic contributed to heightened online violence. Gender emerged as the most frequently cited reason for online abuse, with 48% reporting gender-based abuse, followed by 21% for abuse related to gender identity and sexual orientation, 18% for ethnicity, 10% for religion, and 7% for disability. Black and minoritised individuals were almost as likely to face abuse based on ethnicity as they were on gender, with 46% reporting gender-based abuse and 43% reporting ethnicity-based abuse. Additionally, they were more prone to religious-based abuse compared to white respondents. 4

In England, since September 2020, Relationships Education has been mandatory for all primary school pupils, while Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) has been compulsory for secondary pupils, alongside Health Education for all students in state-funded schools. RSE curriculum encompasses crucial topics such as sexual consent, exploitation, abuse, grooming, harassment, rape, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and domestic abuse, aiming to equip students with the knowledge to navigate current and future relationships. In primary schools, comprehensive sex and relationships education can empower children to stay safe by fostering confidence in seeking help, understanding bodily autonomy, and providing appropriate language for discussing private body parts. 15

The UK recently updated the Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum requirements in Northern Ireland. The new curriculum will include age-appropriate, comprehensive, and scientifically accurate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The education will provide factual information on preventing pregnancy, abortion rights, and accessing relevant services without advocating a particular stance. 16

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References

2 Refuge. (2021, September 30). Ahead of Black History Month, Refuge calls for better protection for Black women experiencing domestic abuse. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from https://refuge.org.uk/news/refuge-better-protection-of-black-women-domestic-abuse/
3 Victim Support. (2022, December 1). New research shows police failing to act on domestic abuse reports – ethnic minority victims worst affected. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/new-research-shows-police-failing-to-act-on-domestic-abuse-reports-ethnic-minority-victims-worst-affected/
4 End Violence Against Women. (2020). The ripple effect: COVID-19 and the epidemic of online abuse. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from https://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Glitch-and-EVAW-The-Ripple-Effect-Online-abuse-during-COVID-19-Sept-2020.pdf

15 Female genital mutilation: resource pack. (2023). Gov.uk. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-genital-mutilation-resource-pack/female-genital-mutilation-resource-pack
16 New requirements for Relationship and Sexuality Education curriculum in Northern Ireland. (2023). Gov.uk. Retrieved January 30, 2024, from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-requirements-for-relationship-and-sexuality-education-curriculum-in-northern-ireland

Follow-up to the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls’ country visits to Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Greece, Poland, Honduras, Chad, Samoa, Kuwait and Hungary

Presented by Ariel Ozdemir, Luna Plet and Olimpia Guidi

The Lenca, indigenous to southwestern Honduras and northeastern El Salvador, reside in approximately 50 villages within a 100-km radius of La Esperanza, the capital city of the mountainous Intibucá department. 1 Most of these villages find themselves on the outskirts of the public education system due to factors such as poverty, age, geographic isolation, gender, and ethnicity. These circumstances collectively contribute to the difficulty in accessing education for many inhabitants.
The educational hurdles for Lenca girls in Honduras, especially in regions like San Francisco de Opalaca, are intricate and deeply influenced by socio-economic, cultural, and geographical factors. These challenges are marked by restricted access to education due to economic constraints, particularly affecting girls pursuing primary education. Gender-sensitive education proves to be a critical aspect of the struggles faced by Lenca girls. Prevailing patriarchal norms pose obstacles to their educational opportunities.
Concerns about the quality of education in public schools, notably in regions like San Francisco de Opalaca, are pronounced. Challenges include limited access to junior high schools in most villages and the geographic obstacles that impede education beyond grade 6. 2 Inadequacies in the education infrastructure, such as a shortage of teachers and insufficient facilities, further hinder the provision of quality education for Lenca girls. Furthermore, with a literacy rate of 30-50%, the Lenca population typically spends an average of only four years in school. 3 This low educational attainment contributes to a pervasive sense of inferiority and a lack of confidence in advocating for a democratic and civil society.
The need for revamping the curriculum to address gender equality, stereotypes, and violence is evident. Emphasis is placed on incorporating human rights workshops to create awareness about gender, cultural, educational, and employment equality. 4 This approach strives to foster an inclusive and supportive educational environment, empowering Lenca girls and addressing societal challenges they encounter.

education for disadvantaged communities . 21 Women and girls, already facing obstacles in pursuing education, find themselves further marginalised by the privatisation of schooling . 22
Consider the challenges faced by promising young students in La Esperanza who experience increased fees due to their schools’ privatisation, leading to their education’s abandonment. This educational setback not only perpetuates the cycle of poverty but also underscores the gendered impact of privatisation on educational opportunities for women and girls.
Expanding on the educational aspect, it’s essential to recognise that privatisation can lead to a reduction in educational resources. Privatised institutions may prioritise profit over educational quality, leaving women in poverty with fewer educational support systems. This, in turn, perpetuates systemic disadvantages, limiting the potential for upward mobility through education.
Healthcare Challenges
Privatisation in the healthcare sector can pose significant challenges for vulnerable populations, particularly women. As essential healthcare services become privatised, the financial burden on impoverished women intensifies, limiting their access to crucial medical support. The lack of affordable healthcare options further entrenches gender disparities in health outcomes . 23

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References

1 Susan Stone, “El Maestro En Casa,” El Maestro en Casa, accessed January 20, 2024, https://lencaedu.wordpress.com/
2 Wanda Bedard, “2009 – Honduras,” 60 million girls, accessed January 20, 2024, https://60millionsdefilles.org/en/our-projects/2009-honduras/
3 Susan Stone, “El Maestro En Casa,” El Maestro en Casa, accessed January 20, 2024, https://lencaedu.wordpress.com/
4 Wanda Bedard, “2009 – Honduras,” 60 million girls, accessed January 20, 2024, https://60millionsdefilles.org/en/our-projects/2009-honduras/

21 Edwards Jr, D. B., Moschetti, M., & Caravaca, A. (2023). Globalisation and privatisation of education in Honduras—Or the need to reconsider the dynamics and legacy of state formation. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 44(4), 635-649. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01596306.2020.1852181
22 Murphy-Graham, E. (2007). Promoting participation in public life through secondary education: evidence from Honduras. Prospects, 37(1), 95-111. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11125-007-9013-2
23 Hasemann Lara, J. E. (2023). Health Sector Reform in Honduras: Privatisation as Institutional Bad Faith. Medical Anthropology, 42(1), 62-75. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01459740.2022.2125388

Education Monitor: Around The Globe between the 16th and 30th of June, 2024

Broken Chalk proudly presents a new edition of “Education Monitor: Around the Globe” between the 16th and 30th of June, 2024. Broken Chalk aims with this letter to increase public awareness of  Educational problems, challenges, and violations in the scope of the world. This newsletter is unique. This is a weekly newsletter in which we attempt to monitor and convey educational news from around the world in a concise manner. This monitor will be published biweekly with the effort of our young and enthusiastic team.

You can contribute to our work if you like. If you witness any violations in the scope of education, you can write the comment part of this post. Broken Chalk will try to address the issue in its next monitor edition.

June-16th-till-30th-2024-Edition

To Download it as PDF: Follow this link.

Broken Chalk Platform, in March 2019, was founded by a group of educators abroad who experienced and have been experiencing severe human rights violations in Turkey and had to ask for asylum currently in several countries.

These education volunteers also suffered greatly and started their new lives in their new countries without human rights violations. They gained respect just because they were considered human beings in those countries. However, they left one part of their minds and hearts in their homeland. They assigned themselves a new duty, and the human rights violations they left behind had to be announced to the World. A group of education volunteers who came together for this purpose started their activities under the Broken Chalk platform’s umbrella. However, the Broken Chalk platform was not enough to serve their aims. Therefore, they completed their official establishment as a Human Rights Foundation in October 2020.

Broken Chalk is now much more than a platform, and we have reviewed and enlarged our vision and mission within this framework. Violations of rights would be the first in our agenda in the field of Education all over the World. At the point we reached today, Broken Chalk opened its door to all individuals from all across the globe, from all professions, and to all individuals who say or can say ‘I also want to stand against violations of human rights in Education for our future and whole humanity, where our generations grow up together.’

Education is essential because it can help us eliminate the evils from society, introduce, and increase the good. We want to draw the public’s and stakeholders’ attention to the fact that Education is in danger in several different parts of the World. The attacks are wide-reaching, from the bombing of schools to the murder of students and teachers. Raping and sexual violence, arbitrary arrests, and forced recruitment also occurred, instigated by armed groups. Attacks on Education harm the students and teachers but also affect the communities in the short and long term.

We invite all individuals who want to stop human rights violations in Education to become Volunteers at Broken Chalk.

Unjust Detention and Abuse of Minors and Mothers in Istanbul Allegedly Affiliated with the Gülen movement

Context

On the 7th of May 2024, the Turkish police conducted a large-scale operation in Istanbul, where multiple people associated with the Gülen movement, distinctly young female students were targeted. Consequently, 49 persons were detained, including students aged between 13-25, together with their parents. Among the people arrested, a mother with Parkinson’s disease and her daughter were put in prison, facing numerous violations of human rights that will be further explained. The operation was carried out by the Anti-Smuggling and Organised Crime and Anti-Terrorism units of the police in the Beylikdüzü district of Istanbul.

During the operation, multiple homes were forcibly entered and searched, and children were forcefully taken into custody by the Turkish authorities, despite objections from their families and lawyers. This has raised concerns among Turkish society, but also at the international level, about the treatment of minors and the violation of their basic rights during the operation.

Basis for the detention

During the investigations, the minor detainees were reportedly questioned in the absence of their lawyers, and their statements were allegedly manipulated by the police authorities. Some minors were interrogated for 15 hours without having access to legal services, while others were questioned under threat or pressure.

The alleged reasons for this operation were based on activities such as providing, educational support to people by being an education coach, offering financial support, assisting with language learning (English), and organizing educational events. All those activities were intended to support the legal as well as the learning/pedagogic needs for students, but instead, they were labelled as ‘terrorist activities’.

Among the detainees, the female students were questioned about institutions and activities that could be potentially linked to the Gülen Movement. Specific questions included subscriptions to closed publications, use of the ByLock application, and holding accounts at confiscated Bank Asya. Those inquiries as well as how they were made, reflect intrusion into individual freedoms of expression, access to information, and financial freedoms Other students were also questioned about participation in tuition centres, schools, or dormitories associated with the Gülen Movement. Other questions that were put were either interpretative, leading, or based on physical and phone surveillance.

Stories behind the scenes

The stories from the detained people paint a disturbing picture of the unlawful detentions in Istanbul and the heavy impacts on children and their families. From a mother arrested for providing English lessons to her children, to a doctor detained with his daughters, and a mother of seven detained along with her children, these stories showcase the arbitrary and unjust nature of the detentions. People who were suffering from different diseases, for example, a woman diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, were kept in unsuitable and unacceptable conditions.

Those stories not only underscore the need for greater accountability in the detention process, in order to prevent these violations of human rights and arbitrariness but also bring to the surface the reality behind the bars and the unspoken atrocities that happen to these innocent individuals and their families.

Recommendations

The following recommendations are non-exhaustive and can be used to address human rights violations and prevent such cases:

  • Advocate for legal and humanitarian assistance by encouraging NGOs to provide support for the affected persons. For example, providing counselling services, funding legal defence and monitoring the conditions for the detainees to see if they align with the international standards.
  • Promote awareness and mobilize support for the current issue, as well as encouraging campaigns that support human rights. Additionally, these could also determine the Turkish authorities to adhere to international standards.
  • Call for investigation by demanding the UN organs or different human rights organizations to initiate an independent investigation to the alleged violations of human rights.

Keywords: Gülen, students, Turkish police, detention, Istanbul, minors, arbitrary, human rights

References:

Education Monitor: Around The Globe between the 1st and 15th of June, 2024

Broken Chalk proudly presents a new edition of “Education Monitor: Around the Globe” between the 1st and 15th of June, 2024. Broken Chalk aims with this letter to increase public awareness of  Educational problems, challenges, and violations in the scope of the world. This newsletter is unique. This is a weekly newsletter in which we attempt to monitor and convey educational news from around the world in a concise manner. This monitor will be published biweekly with the effort of our young and enthusiastic team.

You can contribute to our work if you like. If you witness any violations in the scope of education, you can write the comment part of this post. Broken Chalk will try to address the issue in its next monitor edition.

June-1st-till-15th-2024-Edition

To Download it as PDF: Follow this link.

Broken Chalk Platform, in March 2019, was founded by a group of educators abroad who experienced and have been experiencing severe human rights violations in Turkey and had to ask for asylum currently in several countries.

These education volunteers also suffered greatly and started their new lives in their new countries without human rights violations. They gained respect just because they were considered human beings in those countries. However, they left one part of their minds and hearts in their homeland. They assigned themselves a new duty, and the human rights violations they left behind had to be announced to the World. A group of education volunteers who came together for this purpose started their activities under the Broken Chalk platform’s umbrella. However, the Broken Chalk platform was not enough to serve their aims. Therefore, they completed their official establishment as a Human Rights Foundation in October 2020.

Broken Chalk is now much more than a platform, and we have reviewed and enlarged our vision and mission within this framework. Violations of rights would be the first in our agenda in the field of Education all over the World. At the point we reached today, Broken Chalk opened its door to all individuals from all across the globe, from all professions, and to all individuals who say or can say ‘I also want to stand against violations of human rights in Education for our future and whole humanity, where our generations grow up together.’

Education is essential because it can help us eliminate the evils from society, introduce, and increase the good. We want to draw the public’s and stakeholders’ attention to the fact that Education is in danger in several different parts of the World. The attacks are wide-reaching, from the bombing of schools to the murder of students and teachers. Raping and sexual violence, arbitrary arrests, and forced recruitment also occurred, instigated by armed groups. Attacks on Education harm the students and teachers but also affect the communities in the short and long term.

We invite all individuals who want to stop human rights violations in Education to become Volunteers at Broken Chalk.

Missing Childhoods: Child Kidnapping in Nigeria

Written by Iasmina-Măriuca Stoian

The statistics are disturbing; the reality is devastating. It has been 9 years since the horrendous abduction of the Chibok girls, yet the nightmare continues as children are still being kidnapped, forcibly recruited, killed and injured– their futures torn away,” said Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

Historical background

Situated on the West coast of Africa, Nigeria is a country with a rich history, that was also intertwined with its history as a British colony. Only after 1960, when it gained its independence, and it was declared a republic in 1963, Nigeria faced a difficult period of various dictatorships and political regimes that led to more political instability.

Additionally,  the country has faced issues such as cultural tensions, corruption and inequality. Recently, the numbers on child kidnappings have grown exponentially, particularly in conflict areas. These abductions not only have affected the families and the local communities but also have raised serious issues relating to the current administration and calls for urgent measures to be taken both at the national and international levels.

Despite the continuous efforts to address this issue, child kidnappings continue to remain one of the main challenges of the country, affecting not only the lives of children but also the country’s future. This article will look into the root causes that led to this serious issue, as well as the measures that were taken to combat the kidnappings and possible future measures to be taken by the government and international agents.

Understanding the issue

According to recent articles , more than 280 students were kidnapped from elementary schools in the northern region of the country, and seized by militants. This incident is reported to be bigger than the previous one[jc6] , also known as the Chibok girls abduction case. In 2014, Boko Haram, an Islamist jihadist group based in the northeastern region of Nigeria, abducted 276 girls from their dormitories, many of them still remaining missing to this day. This outrageous incident sparked international debate and led to the creation of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign on numerous social media platforms. The reality behind the abductions is even more horrific, leading to other crimes, such as rape, killing, and forced marriages.

Nine years after the Chibok girls incident, Amnesty International and UNICEF highlighted the lack of investigations by local authorities, abandonment of the cases and lack of action from the government. However, schools still are targets of abduction cases that are reported weekly, resulting in approximately 780 abducted children and 61 still held in captivity. [ii]Thus, international organizations are continuing to call for protection and justice for those children, as well as for measures to be taken by the Nigerian authorities.

This issue not only affects the lives of children and families, but it also associated with other issues in the country such as poverty, low rates of employment, political instability, and religious tensions. These challenges will be further discussed in the following paragraphs, explaining them in more detail.

Root causes

Poverty & unemployment

There is a strong link between poverty and unemployment and the issue of kidnapping in Nigeria. Recent rates indicate that almost 46% of Nigerians live in poverty, [iii] and this includes millions of youths who are unemployed and do not benefit from governmental help in any way.

Most of those children did not have access to education, finding their way of living on the streets, where they are most vulnerable. Kidnapping of children is used, besides for political bargains, also for economic gain (kidnapping for ransom), which seems to become more common as the economic gap between rich and poor families grows.

Religious & political factors

Religious differences and the constant tension between the Christian and Islamic citizens are also root causes of the kidnappings. The two religions have been in conflict for generations, thus leading to the abduction of numerous children who were secretly killed in the northern part of the country.

Boko Haram is an extremist terrorist group and their kidnappings are both religious and politically rooted, as declared by their leaders. They mostly target and abduct Christians, as well as people who do not recognize their ideology or political movement.

Methods and tactics of kidnappers

As methods, kidnapping of children can involve the use of offensive gadgets, weapons, specially designed technologies for tracking victims, as well as sensitive information about the targets in order to forcefully take them away from their families and instil fear in their minds. Moreover, kidnapping groups have an impressive organization strategy, in which they are structured on different teams, such as operation teams, guards, tax forces etc.

The reports show that most kidnappers carefully plan their abductions, calculating the costs and benefits of each action. Their preferences on targets vary between different factors that were previously mentioned, such as political, religious, and social backgrounds. This cost for each victim is calculated according to their Kidnap Ransom Value(KRV). In the context of child kidnapping, children from affluent families, with high social status, or from families that have bigger influence may have a higher KRV than others.

Impact on families and society

Child kidnapping can have a devastating effect on families and also on the community, instilling fear and anxiety. Apart from the evident trauma that is inflicted on the past victims, families are also affected. The emotional burden of not knowing the fate or the status of their relative who was abducted is a real trauma, that can cause stress, depression and anxiety in the long-term. Additionally, to the emotional impact, families can also be affected financially, having to face the costs of recovery, treatment or, in the cases of ransom kidnappings, the price they have to pay for having back their children.

On a larger scale, those abductions have also a long-term impact on the local communities. Kidnapped children, especially underaged girls, who can often be victims of other cruel acts, such as slavery, forced marriage and sexual molestation, have a higher impact on society. Thus, from affected families to a local community and later to the whole nation, this issue leads to insecurity, while insecurity leads to political tensions and instability.

Future challenges & solutions

Both present and past governments have tried so far to combat this issue of kidnapping children in Nigeria, through several measures. National and international bodies have collaborated and started several projects, to combat both terrorist threats by the Boko Haram group, and also the criminal activities associated with kidnapping. Other projects were designed to reduce poverty and to increase the quality and accessibility to education, in order to offer children an option and a chance not to end up living on the streets.

More effective solutions in combating this issue are to focus more and pay more attention to the root causes of kidnapping. This could include offering more employment opportunities for youth, investment projects in education, adoption of stricter and more protective laws and regulations and anti-kidnapping measures.

Conclusions

In conclusion, child kidnapping is a serious and complex issue that has different root causes, such as poverty, unemployment, religious and political tensions, and organized criminal group activities. The impact on families and society is enormous, leading to psychological and emotional long-term trauma. Thus, both international and national authorities should take urgent measures and also highlight the importance of international collaboration.

References


[i] See the articles from UNICEF titled “Devastating Reality: 9 Years After Chibok Abductions, Children in Northeast Nigeria Continue to Suffer the Brutal Consequences of Conflict”, and from CBS News “Witnesses in Nigeria say hundreds of children kidnapped in second mass-abduction in less than a week” for more details.

[ii] See the article from Amnesty International “Nigeria: Nine years after Chibok girls’ abducted, authorities failing to protect children”.

[iii] See Bello (2022) for more consideration.

 

Education Monitor: Around The Globe between the 16th and 31st of May, 2024

Broken Chalk proudly presents a new edition of “Education Monitor: Around the Globe” between the 16th and 31st of May, 2024. Broken Chalk aims with this letter to increase public awareness of  Educational problems, challenges, and violations in the scope of the world. This newsletter is unique. This is a weekly newsletter in which we attempt to monitor and convey educational news from around the world in a concise manner. This monitor will be published biweekly with the effort of our young and enthusiastic team.

You can contribute to our work if you like. If you witness any violations in the scope of education, you can write the comment part of this post. Broken Chalk will try to address the issue in its next monitor edition.

May-16th-till-31st-2024-Edition

To Download it as PDF: Follow this link.

Broken Chalk Platform, in March 2019, was founded by a group of educators abroad who experienced and have been experiencing severe human rights violations in Turkey and had to ask for asylum currently in several countries.

These education volunteers also suffered greatly and started their new lives in their new countries without human rights violations. They gained respect just because they were considered human beings in those countries. However, they left one part of their minds and hearts in their homeland. They assigned themselves a new duty, and the human rights violations they left behind had to be announced to the World. A group of education volunteers who came together for this purpose started their activities under the Broken Chalk platform’s umbrella. However, the Broken Chalk platform was not enough to serve their aims. Therefore, they completed their official establishment as a Human Rights Foundation in October 2020.

Broken Chalk is now much more than a platform, and we have reviewed and enlarged our vision and mission within this framework. Violations of rights would be the first in our agenda in the field of Education all over the World. At the point we reached today, Broken Chalk opened its door to all individuals from all across the globe, from all professions, and to all individuals who say or can say ‘I also want to stand against violations of human rights in Education for our future and whole humanity, where our generations grow up together.’

Education is essential because it can help us eliminate the evils from society, introduce, and increase the good. We want to draw the public’s and stakeholders’ attention to the fact that Education is in danger in several different parts of the World. The attacks are wide-reaching, from the bombing of schools to the murder of students and teachers. Raping and sexual violence, arbitrary arrests, and forced recruitment also occurred, instigated by armed groups. Attacks on Education harm the students and teachers but also affect the communities in the short and long term.

We invite all individuals who want to stop human rights violations in Education to become Volunteers at Broken Chalk.

2024 Thematic Report to the 79th Session of the UN General Assembly

Presented by Olimpia Guidi and Sarah Kuipers

Human rights organisations and NGOs play a crucial role in monitoring the impact of sanctions on human rights and providing support to affected parties. 12

In addressing the impact of sanctions on rights, Russia has recourse to various international mechanisms. These include the United Nations (UN), which it can engage through the UN Security Council, leveraging its position as a permanent member to voice concerns and negotiate resolutions. 15 Additionally, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia can challenge trade-related sanctions that contravene WTO agreements through dispute settlement mechanisms. 16

Furthermore, Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe subjects it to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 17 Individuals or entities affected by sanctions can bring cases before the ECHR alleging violations of human rights protected under the European Convention on Human Rights. 18 Moreover, Russia could potentially utilise the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to challenge sanctions it believes violate international law or treaties. 19

However, ICJ jurisdiction requires the consent of all parties involved, posing limitations on its effectiveness. 20

Despite these avenues, the effectiveness of international mechanisms in safeguarding rights impacted by sanctions is subject to various limitations. Political considerations often hinder progress, with powerful actors reluctant to challenge one another’s actions. 21 Legal processes within these international bodies are typically time-consuming, offering delayed relief. 22 Enforcement of decisions and compliance by sanction-imposing countries can also be challenging. Furthermore, the scope of these mechanisms may not fully address the extraterritorial application of sanctions or their broader economic ramifications.

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References

12 Goncharenko, G., & Khadaroo, I. (2020). Disciplining human rights organisations through an accounting regulation: A case of the ‘foreign agents’ law in Russia. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 72, 102129. Available at:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S104523541930108X

15 Gifkins, J. (2021). Beyond the veto: Roles in UN Security Council decision-making. Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, 27(1), 1-24.
16 Gantvarg, I. (2023). Categorisation and Legality of Trade Sanctions Imposed on Russia: Examining Compatibility with WTO and UN Legislation.
17 Nelaeva, G. A., Khabarova, E. A., & Sidorova, N. V. (2020). Russia’s Relations with the European Court of Human Rights in the Aftermath of the Markin Decision: Debating the “Backlash”. Human Rights Review, 21, 93-112
18 Ibid.
19 Sarkin, J. J., & Sarkin, E. (2022). Reforming the International Court of Justice to Deal with State Responsibility for Conflict and Human Rights Violations. International Human Rights Law Review, 11(1), 1-35. Available at:https://brill.com/view/journals/hrlr/11/1/article-p1_001.xml
20 Wulandari, R. (2022). Jurisdiction Issues of the International Court and the effectiveness of ICJ’s Decision in the Russia-Ukraine Dispute Resolution. Nurani: Jurnal Kajian Syari’ah dan Masyarakat, 22(2), 343-350.
21 Frye, T. (2022). Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia. Princeton University Press.
22 Ibid.


Examining Contemporary Forms of Slavery: Implications for Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Populations

Presented by Samantha Orozco and Ariel Ozdemir

In the complex landscape of United States prison labour, there exist six primary categories of prison labour, namely maintenance work within carceral facilities, state prison industries, public works assignments benefiting governmental and non-profit entities, employment with private industries, work-release programs and restitution centres, and agricultural work.

Maintenance work primarily consists of tasks to maintain the prisons themselves, such as janitorial duties, food preparation, grounds maintenance, repair work, laundry, and providing essential services like working in prison hospitals, stockrooms, stores, barber shops, and libraries.

Discriminatory labour assignments
According to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on exploitative carceral labour, race is a large determinant in work assignments. The report reveals that Black men are predominantly assigned to lower-paying or unpaid work such as agricultural, maintenance, or other facilities services jobs, while a higher proportion of white men are assigned to higher-paying jobs such as public works positions.

Inadequate wages & extortion
Incarcerated labourers are paid inadequate wages, often receiving minimal to no compensation; this condition has continued for decades without noticeable improvement. Moreover, prisons, along with the federal government, routinely deduct substantial portions—sometimes up to 80%—of these meagre wages to cover court-imposed fines, taxes, family support, restitution, and room and board expenses, exacerbating the financial burdens faced by those behind bars. According by the ACLU report, states also use the profits garnered from wage deductions “to sustain and expand incarceration” for such things as the construction and renovation of carceral facilities and the establishment and expansion of prison labour programs. Prisons frequently exploit and extort inmates by charging them exorbitant prices for essential items such as phone calls to families and toiletries. Consequently, the families of incarcerated individuals experience significant financial strain to meet these basic needs under price gouging. This also contributes to increased community-level financial insecurity and incarceration in areas with higher rates of incarcerated community members, perpetuating a vicious cycle of exploitation and insecurity.

Incarcerated labourers are not protected by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), a federal statute that sets minimum standards and safeguards for health and safety in the workplace. As a result of the lack of workplace protections, incarcerated workers face many dangers in the workplace. Despite lacking jurisdiction to protect these workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has conducted limited investigations which have uncovered severe health and safety concerns and a complete failure to ensure protections in the workplace.

Firstly, many lack proper safety training, leaving them vulnerable to preventable injuries and even fatalities while on the job. A staggering 70% of those surveyed by the ACLU reported receiving no formal job training. Additionally, they often find themselves working in unsafe environments, such as meat and poultry processing plants, garment factories operating sewing and cutting machinery, and industrial-scale prison kitchens and laundries where they’re exposed to hazardous chemicals and industrial machinery. Furthermore, incarcerated workers frequently endure a denial of medical care for workplace injuries. Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, they were thrust to the frontline of the response effort, engaging in tasks like producing personal protective equipment (PPE) while being barred from using it, working in morgues, cleaning medical units, and undertaking frontline health roles, all of which put them at heightened risk of contracting the virus. Despite these dangers, incarcerated workers deemed to have essential job assignments were mandated to continue working.


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