International Day for Countering Hate Speech

Written by Astrid Euwe Wyss and Panashe Marie Louise Mlambo 

On 18 June, the world observes the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, established by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 75/309 on 21 July 2021.1 This day serves as a global call to action to combat hate speech in all its forms, fostering a culture of respect, tolerance, and understanding. 

The principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights emphasize that “Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.” Broken Chalk stands firmly behind these ideals, advocating for educational environments where respect, tolerance, and mutual understanding are promoted. 

Educational institutions are critical arenas for fostering values of respect and tolerance. However, many regions around the world still struggle with the harmful effects of hate speech, which can create hostile learning environments and impede students’ educational progress.2 Broken Chalk’s efforts focus on raising awareness about these challenges and urging the international community to implement effective strategies to counter hate speech. As an international organization, Broken Chalk remains steadfast in its mission to achieve both local and global perspectives in its advocacy efforts. Through collaborative action and collective engagement, we strive to create a world where every individual has access to quality education in a peaceful, inclusive, and respectful environment. Our press releases, monitoring articles, and UN-UPR submissions are all the strides we have take to address the gaps in education and challenges affecting individuals in the educational sphere.  

“Our work is driven by a commitment to fostering respect and understanding in education. On this International Day for Countering Hate Speech, we urge governments and stakeholders to the UN to prioritize the fight against hate speech in education and to take decisive action to address systemic issues.” is a sentiment that is agreed by the Broken Chalk representatives.  

As an international organization, Broken Chalk remains steadfast in its mission to achieve both local and global perspectives in its advocacy efforts. Through collaborative action and collective engagement, we strive to create a world where every individual has access to quality education in a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment. 

Broken Chalk’s World Day Against Child Labour Press Release 

Panashe Marie Louise Mlambo, Mamta Rao  

World Day Against Child Labour, annually on June 12th, was first launched in 2002 by the ILO to raise awareness and foster activism aimed at preventing child labour. This day brings together governments, local authorities, civil society, international organizations, workers, and employers to highlight the issue of child labour and to define effective strategies for its elimination.1 Despite progress over the past two decades, conflicts, economic crises, and the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have reversed many of these gains, making it more critical than ever to renew global efforts against child labour.2 

Broken Chalk, an Amsterdam-based non-governmental organisation committed to addressing human rights violations in the education sector, joins this global call to action. Our organisation, established in October 2020, is dedicated to removing obstacles to education, promoting peace and tolerance through intercultural understanding, preventing radicalism and polarisation, and eliminating educational opportunity gaps across various demographics.3 

Our extensive research and advocacy work reveal that child labour can indeed be eliminated if its root causes are addressed. Economic disparities, lack of access to quality education, and systemic injustices are the primary drivers that push children into labour. More than ever, it is urgent for all of us to contribute to bringing solutions to people’s daily problems, and child labour is – possibly – the most visible of these problems. 

We call for a renewed global commitment to social justice, with the elimination of child labour as a central focus. This involves leveraging the Global Coalition for Social Justice to drive initiatives that address the socio-economic factors contributing to child labour. 

 We urge all nations to ratify ILO Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age. Combined with the universal ratification of ILO Convention No. 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour achieved in 2020, this would provide comprehensive legal protection for children against all forms of child labour.4 

Regions like Africa and Asia-Pacific bear the brunt of this issue, with Africa having the highest percentage of children in child labour (one-fifth) and the highest absolute number (72 million). Asia and the Pacific follow with 7% of all children and 62 million in absolute terms in child labour. Together, these regions account for nearly nine out of every ten children in child labour worldwide.4 

This year, the focus is on accelerating progress towards achieving Target 8.7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims to eradicate child labour in all its forms by 2025. By focusing on Key areas of action—legislative reforms, education, decent work for adults, social protection, and public advocacy—we can create a comprehensive strategy to eliminate child labour and build a brighter future for all children.6 

Let us renew our commitment to ending this grave violation of children’s rights. By uniting our efforts, we can build a future where every child enjoys their right to a childhood free from labour and filled with opportunities for education, growth, and development. 

“Our work is driven by a commitment to fostering respect and understanding in education. On this World Day Against Child Labour, we urge governments and stakeholders to the UN to prioritize the fight against child labour in education and to take decisive action to address systemic issues,” said a representative from Broken Chalk. 

As an international organization, Broken Chalk remains steadfast in its mission to achieve both local and global perspectives in its advocacy efforts. Through collaborative action and collective engagement, we strive to create a world where every individual has access to quality education in a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment. 

References

International Day of Living Together in Peace – May 16th

Written by Astrid Euwe Wyss and Panashe Marie Louise Mlambo 

On 16 May, the world celebrates the International Day of Living Together in Peace, established by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 72/130 on 8 December 2017.1 This day calls upon individuals and communities globally to unite in the spirit of peace, understanding, and cooperation, fostering an environment where differences are respected and harmony is pursued. 

Broken Chalk, a dedicated advocate for educational rights and human rights, proudly reaffirms its commitment to promoting peace and understanding in educational settings worldwide. Our organization tirelessly engages with international bodies, governments, and key stakeholders to champion the cause of living together in peace, particularly within the education sector.2 

The essence of the International Day of Living Together in Peace aligns seamlessly with the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “Everyone has the right to education” and “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”3 Broken Chalk stands firmly behind these ideals, advocating for educational environments where peace, tolerance, and mutual respect are paramount. 

Broken Chalk recognizes the urgent need to bridge this gap and ensure that educational laws worldwide promote peace and non-discrimination. By advocating for stronger legal frameworks and inclusive policies, we aim to uphold the fundamental right to education for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances. 

“Our work is driven by a commitment to fostering peace and understanding in education. On this International Day of Living Together in Peace, we urge governments and stakeholders to prioritize the promotion of peace in education and to take decisive action to address systemic inequalities and conflicts.” – Broken Chalk representatives.  

As an international organization, Broken Chalk remains steadfast in its mission to achieve both local and global perspectives in its advocacy efforts. Through collaborative action and collective engagement, we strive to create a world where every individual has access to quality education in a peaceful, inclusive, and respectful environment and continue to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding, and solidarity. 

Red Hand Day Marks Urgent Call to End the Use of Child Soldiers

As the world observes an increase in conflicts across the globe, the use of child soldiers remains a reality on this day February 12. From the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and in the Gaza Strip, to the escalating violence following Afghanistan’s political upheaval after Taliban’s takeover, the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic further destabilise regions like Yemen, amplifying the risk of conflict. In Somalia, conflict-related deaths have reached a five-year high, while many other countries struggle with prolonged crises that are frequently disregarded by the international community. Amidst this turmoil, the most vulnerable suffer the gravest injustices. Boys and girls are coerced into combat, exploited for labour, and subjected to unimaginable horrors. Despite a UN treaty prohibiting the involvement of children under 18 in hostilities, there has been a lack of enforcement from the international community.

Children continue to be embroiled in armed conflicts across numerous nations. Their lives are characterised by peril, deprivation, and fear. Stripped of their innocence, they face the constant threat of ambushes, landmines, and gunfire, their existence devoid of basic necessities like food, water, and healthcare. Subjected to brutal discipline, many children perish under inhumane conditions, while others survive with lifelong physical or psychological scars, with girls, comprising a significant portion of child soldiers, endure additional horrors, including sexual violence and exploitation. The reality is that children are robbed of their childhoods, and forced into roles no child should ever have to bear.

Hence, the Red Hand Day, or the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers campaign is a rallying call for action: urging governments, organisations, individuals, and the international community to confront this reality and provoke change. The history of Red Hand Day traces back to February 12, 2002, when the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict came into force. This protocol, also known as the “Paris Principles,” reaffirmed the international community’s stance against the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicti. The protocol established 18 as the minimum age for compulsory recruitment and participation in hostilities, with the aim of shielding children from the horrors of war and ensuring their access to education, health, and a safe environmentii.


Release of child soldiers. UNMISS/Nektarios Markogiannis. On Flickr.

At Broken Chalk, we stand in solidarity with the global community on Red Hand Day. We believe that every child, regardless of their circumstances, deserves equal access to quality education in a safe environment. Red Hand Day serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by more than 7622 children who are recruited as soldiers and deprived of their fundamental right to education (as estimated in a 2022 Annual Reportiii of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to the UN General Assembly).

As we commemorate Red Hand Day, Broken Chalk is committed to advocating for policies and initiatives that prioritise the end of recruitment and use of children in armed conflict to fully implement the Paris Commitment. Moreover, we advocate for the protection, safety, financial support, peaceful education, reintegration, and support of children affected by armed conflict, ensuring that they can learn, grow, and thrive. Nevertheless, more actions need to be taken to hold accountable those who are responsible, in compliance with international humanitarian law, specifically the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Together, we can work towards a world where the red hands of child soldiers are replaced with books and pens, symbolising hope, resilience, and the promise of a brighter future.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.

Signed,

Broken Chalk


i Human Rights Watch (n.d.). The Red Hand Day Campaign One million red hands against the use of child soldiers RESOURCE PACK. Available at https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/childsoldierresource.pdf

ii Red Hand Day: The suffering of the child soldiers. Red Hand Day. Available at https://www.redhandday.org/en/hintergrund

iii Children and armed conflict (2023, June 27). Report of the Secretary-General. Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. Available at https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/document/secretary-general-annual-report-on-children-and-armed-conflict-2/

Press Release: International Day for Education

Children in classroom with food

On the 24th of January, the world celebrates the importance of education for peace and development with the International Day of Education. In light of this celebration, Broken Chalk reiterates the importance of education as a human right, and reaffirms its mission to address human rights violations in the educational field today. 

UNESCO has declared the theme for this year ”Learning for Lasting Peace” and is dedicating this year’s International Day of Education to the crucial role education and teachers play in countering hate speech. Education is a powerful tool that has the potential to influence future societies. If inclusive and of quality, it promotes understanding, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence among individuals and communities.

Today, a staggering 250 million children and youth find themselves out of school, while 763 million adults grapple with illiteracy. Access to education is highly unequal, meaning not every child has the same opportunity for development. Broken Chalk deems this situation unacceptable, recognizing that the right to education is being violated on a massive scale.

Broken Chalk reiterates its commitment towards Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG4), in ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education. Considering the theme of International Day of Education 2024, “Learning for Lasting Peace”, Broken Chalk recognises that the worryingly high number of international conflicts in the last year has detrimentally affected the ability of people to access equitable and quality education. Broken Chalk calls for all stakeholders to do their utmost to focus on peaceful resolutions and policies in order to allow for greater educational accessibility and peace for students around the world.

On this International Day of Education, it is essential to recognise the importance of teachers for their role in the journey towards inclusive and equitable education. Regrettably, there is a growing shortage of teachers across the world, significantly impacting educational access and quality. Broken Chalk commits to continuing its practice of publishing “Educational Challenges” articles. Broken Chalk hopes that these articles will bring to light the difficulties teachers and other stakeholders face in their respective countries. By ensuring that the narrative around education development is broadened to include the perspectives and challenges of teachers, Broken Chalk believes that there will be more significant progress towards achieving universal education accessibility, quality and equity.

In addition to its ongoing efforts, Broken Chalk will publish several articles in celebration of the International Day of Education. Broken Chalk will continue to raise awareness, encourage dialogue, address human rights violations in education, and drive action to achieve quality education for all. 

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.

Signed,

Broken Chalk

International Migrants Day

18th December 2023

The United Nations (UN) estimates that 281 million people live outside their country of origin, 15% of whom are children. Individuals have always moved in search of new, better life opportunities. On International Migrants Day, Broken Chalk celebrates migration as humanity’s inherent and fundamental characteristic. Education is both a powerful tool for integration into host societies and a driver for migration, with families migrating to seek better educational opportunities for their children and thousands of young people migrating annually to pursue university degrees.

In situations of displacement, children and young people often experience difficulties accessing education, especially if they have an uncertain legal status. Schools are often compelled by migration authorities to detect, detain and deport undocumented migrant children and their families. Schools might also refuse to enrol migrants. However, the legal principle of non-discrimination establishes that all persons residing in the territory of a state, regardless of their legal status, must be guaranteed access to education. Broken Chalk calls for respect for the principle of non-discrimination to the right to education, regardless of a person’s legal status.

Denial of access to education, discrimination, or bullying is often a reflection of xenophobic and racist attitudes in the host country. Education must be recognised as a powerful driver for social cohesion, where children from diverse backgrounds coexist from an early age. Moreover, schools must address discrimination and bullying towards foreigners, and policies must ensure equal access to opportunities. In addition to this, migrant teachers should have their qualifications recognised so they can actively use their first language to help newcomers integrate. For instance, the EU Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027 acknowledges the need for more recognition of foreign qualifications. Broken Chalk highlights that a lack of effective integration, as well as forms of discrimination towards newcomers, can result in school drop-out, which might lead to social exclusion and have lifelong consequences.

The 2030 Agenda recognises migrants as a vulnerable group whose rights must be addressed and must be empowered persons. While migration might be seen as a stage of growth for some, for others, migration could be due to the adverse effects of conflict, climate change, and labour markets. Within the sustainable development goals, target 10.7, “reduce inequality in and among countries” to “facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies”, is a direct reference to migration. This Sustainable Development Goal provides an opportunity for mobile populations to be empowered. By investing in their empowerment, we cultivate beneficial persons for their personal growth and for the greater good of humanity. Broken Chalk urges countries to be diligent and execute carefully formulated and well-administered migration policies.

Within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), most children migrate irregularly. Irregular child migrants are at a heightened risk of being subject to trafficking, sexual exploitation, detention or being engaged in informal labour. In 2019, ASEAN leaders adopted the ASEAN Declaration on the Rights of Children in the Context of Migration and subsequently implemented the Regional Plan of Action. This laid out core principles to address the vulnerabilities faced by children in the context of migration. The initiative by ASEAN encompasses collective action to strengthen national systems for children in matters including but not limited to child protection, education, psychosocial support, health, safe environment and justice. Broken Chalk appeals to leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to pay heed to the voices of migrant children and make informed decisions for the future.

We must take a pledge to provide them with the tools not only to survive but to thrive in their journey across borders. This International Migrants Day, let the term migrants be synonymous with resilience, innovation and, most importantly, global empowerment.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.

Signed,

Broken Chalk

Press Release: #Act4RightsNow! Broken Chalk calls on everybody to stand up for educational rights and human rights education all over the world

December 10, 2023

Human Rights Day

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “All humans are born free and equal”. This December 10th, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a milestone for universally protected freedom, equality, and justice. The document implies 30 rights and freedoms guaranteed to every human being regardless of nationality, gender, origin, religion, language, political or other status.

After the Second World War, countries from all regions and diverse cultural and political contexts came together and recognised these fundamental human rights for the first time in history in December 1948, 75 years ago. Even though the declaration is not binding, it depicts the basis for international human rights law, and many countries enshrined its meanings into their national constitutions. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been translated into more than 500 languages, making it the most translated document in the world. Together, this reflects its importance for every one of us.

In times of political rupture, Broken Chalk calls for the protection of fundamental and universal Human Rights. Political actors must stand together in the fight for justice, equality, and dignity of the people in this world.

Regrettably, as we observe this significant day, the shadows of colonisation and exploitation persist, particularly impacting populations in the Global South. In this regard, Broken Chalk extends our solidarity to the oppressed and reaffirms the importance of eliminating all forms of human rights violations or restrictions. The struggles against the alarming violations happening around the globe, notably in Palestine, Sudan, Congo, and where people are fighting for their rights, remind us that collective efforts are key to addressing these issues. As the famous saying goes, no one is free until everyone is free. The right to education will only be secured and accessible for everyone if the fundamental rights can be enjoyed.

For this reason, Broken Chalk keeps working in the area of advocacy and lobbying on behalf of educational victims, preparing reports to raise awareness of unseen human rights violations. Throughout this year, Broken Chalk has diligently released articles on educational challenges in different countries, submitted reports to echo the calls of the United Nations for input, and drafted press releases for human rights-related commemorations. We also maintain active relationships with international organisations sharing similar mandates and causes, thereby contributing to a broader advocacy network. On this special day, we celebrate our ongoing commitment to this cause and pay tribute to all human rights defenders who work under threats, censorship, and distress. They deserve the utmost respect and acknowledgement.

Nevertheless, human rights action is not only the responsibility of political actors and human rights defenders. As the fight for human rights never ends, Broken Chalk encourages everybody to stand up for their human rights and the rights of others. We strongly call for action in your daily life, including at the workplace and school.

Building on the achievements of these 75 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), while recognising the urgent need to address human rights violations still perpetrated around the world, we raise our voice to call upon all humanity to incessantly commit to human rights protection in all fields, especially education.

We consider an informed human rights action to be powerfully effective. In this respect, education plays a fundamental and transformative role for the present and next generations. Using human rights education, a spirit of respect for human dignity takes root both in the personal development of everybody and in social common understanding. As more investments are necessary to ensure the right to quality education for all, so must we invest in shared values and beliefs that safeguard us throughout life.

As the fourth phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education unfolds, Broken Chalk advocates for compulsory human rights education in school curricula worldwide, in line with Target 7 of SDG 4. We believe that increasing knowledge about human rights is the launching pad to a brighter future where we can fully enjoy our rights.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.

Signed,

Broken Chalk


Written by Eliana Riggi, Leyang Fu, & Luzi Maj Leonhardt.

Press Release: Broken Chalk Highlights Global Genocide Victims on the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime

International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime

As the world commemorates the International Day of the Victims of Genocide on December 9, we solemnly reflect on the profound impact of genocide on countless individuals and communities. This day serves as a poignant reminder of the need for global solidarity and action to prevent such atrocities and to support the survivors in their journey towards healing and justice. We recognize the impact and stand with the victims of the genocide committed during the Second World War, the Holocaust. Given the relevance of more recent events and the contemporary era, there are other situations that warrant acknowledgement.

Remembering the Victims:

Cambodian genocide (1975)

  • In 1975, the leaders of the Khmer Rouge achieved power, and although it only lasted for 4 years, its impact persists to this day. This regime caused over 2 million deaths, some of them from execution and others reminiscent of the Holocaust, from diseases that originated from being held at concentration camps. Even defined as an “auto-genocide”, the leaders of the regime would target anybody who would oppose their ideas for Cambodia without making further distinctions. Ultimately, the gravity of the situation is reflected in the fact that, during this short time, Cambodia’s population decreased between 21% and 24%, eliminating generations of Cambodian families still trying to rebuild their country.

Rwandan Genocide (1994):

  • In 1994, the Rwandan Genocide left an indelible mark on the lives of the victims, primarily the Tutsi ethnic group. Families were torn apart, and individuals faced unimaginable violence, including mass killings, sexual assault, and torture. The aftermath created a complex web of social and economic challenges, with many survivors continuing to grapple with psychological and emotional scars.

Bosnian Genocide (1995)

  • The Srebrenica massacre opened a wound still latent to this day due to the implications of this event. In the 90s, the United Nations was heavily involved in peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, and Srebrenica was the first ever UN-declared safe area. This did not prevent the Army of the Republika Srpska from killing over 8000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys, which was declared the worst atrocity on European soil since the Holocaust.

Darfur Genocide (2003–2008):

  • The Darfur Genocide in Sudan targeted non-Arab ethnic groups, resulting in mass displacement and widespread atrocities, including sexual violence and killings. The humanitarian crisis left victims facing severe food and medical shortages, exacerbating their suffering. The impact on survivors includes psychological trauma, loss of livelihoods, and challenges in rebuilding their lives.

Sinjar massacre (2014)

  • The Yazidi is an Iraqi ethnic and religious minority who, in 2014, was the victim of a genocidal campaign from Daesh/ISIL as part of their 2014 Northern Iraq offensive. The purpose was to displace the Yazidis from strategic territories and to replace this population with people who showed more obedience to their regime. Over 50.000 Yazidis fled to the Sinjar mountains, where they were subjects of a siege until they were liberated due to the involvement of the international community. Significant progress has been made, and many Yazidis have been able to return to their land and their homes, but there is still much more to do to return to how they were before and to ensure their safety.

Myanmar (Rohingya Crisis):

  • The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, particularly in 2017, resulted in widespread atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Victims faced indiscriminate killings, sexual violence, and the burning of villages. The crisis led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, including children, who endured harrowing journeys to escape the violence. Families were separated, and individuals now live in overcrowded and inadequate conditions in refugee camps, struggling with the trauma of their experiences.

Uyghur Genocide in China:

  • The Uyghur Genocide in Xinjiang has profoundly affected the Uyghur Muslim minority. Reports suggest mass arbitrary detentions, forced labour, and attempts to erase Uyghur cultural and religious identity. Families have been separated, with individuals detained in camps facing harsh conditions. The psychological and emotional toll on Uyghur communities is immense, and the fear of persecution has led some individuals to seek refuge in other countries.

Our Commitment to Prevention:

The International Day of the Victims of Genocide underscores the urgent need to prevent future atrocities. Broken Chalk remains steadfast in advocating for human rights, justice, and accountability. We call on governments, civil society, and individuals to unite in the pursuit of a world where no one suffers the devastating consequences of genocide.

As we reflect on the past nine years, we celebrate the progress achieved while acknowledging the needs that continue to burden those affected.

Press Release Issued with Respect from Broken Chalk

Signed

Broken Chalk

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Learning Left Behind: Post-COVID Struggles of Children with Disabilities in Education

Roughly 240 million children, constituting one in every ten worldwide, live with disabilities. Regrettably, these children frequently encounter barriers that impede their fundamental rights, particularly access to education in schools. The importance of education for children is widely recognised, but children with disabilities continue to stay behind, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Target 4.5 of the SDGs highlights the importance of eradicating gender disparities and inequalities in education whilst placing emphasis on guaranteeing educational access for individuals with disabilities. Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also notices the importance for children with disabilities of accessing “inclusive, quality and free primary education”.

Despite the widespread recognition of the importance of education for children with disabilities, in 2020, only 68 per cent of countries incorporated inclusive education definitions into their policies. Broken Chalk recognises the urgent need to address the lack of inclusive education for children with disabilities. The lack of inclusive policies from the governments lifts many barriers for children with disabilities. Many of them face societal stigma or poverty, which, paired with insufficiently trained educators, inadequate learning resources, and inaccessible infrastructure, increase their chances of either never enrolling or dropping out of school.

UNICEF Innocenti’s Research Library presents compelling evidence that amidst the profound impact of COVID-19, the pandemic introduced the prospect of a universally accessible learning approach through open and distance learning initiatives. These initiatives hold the potential to offer more equitable educational opportunities for all children. However, realising this potential hinges on access to essential technologies, internet connectivity, and educators equipped with the competencies to provide remote education systematically, especially for children with disabilities.

While promising, the provision of remote learning often overlooks the accessibility needs of children with disabilities, resulting in a widening educational gap between those who can access education remotely and those who cannot. Online learning initiatives offered by national education ministries are reportedly inadequately accommodating for disabilities, leading adolescents to experience heightened anxiety or discontinue their studies altogether. Broken Chalks strongly supports the creation of accessible and high-quality educational materials. This includes advocating for flexible curriculum delivery methods that account for differences among learners.

Gender and poverty further compound these challenges, creating systemic discrimination at the intersection of multiple factors.

The evidence underscores gender as a critical social determinant of exclusion, particularly impacting women and girls with disabilities. Relative to boys with disabilities, women and girls around the world experienced higher risk factors for gender-based violence, increased barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health and/or loss of access to healthcare, education, employment and other necessary supports. Broken Chalk believes that education is crucial to working towards the elimination of violence against women and girls with disabilities.

Moreover, poverty is a significant barrier, restricting access to the internet and affordable quality technologies like cameras, screens, and internet bandwidth. This limitation often impedes access to distance learning, notably in humanitarian settings. Poverty significantly amplifies the challenges faced by children with disabilities in their educational journey as families grapple with the added expenses of sustaining their children’s education. Prevailing negative perceptions regarding the abilities of children with disabilities can further intensify this financial strain. Consequently, families might hesitate to enrol their children in schools, perceiving limited advantages.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in mental health disorders, exacerbated existing psychosocial disabilities, limited access to crucial healthcare services, heightened obstacles to social protection and elevated the risks of stigma, discrimination, neglect, violence, and abuse among individuals with disabilities.

Broken Chalks advocates for the collection of valuable insights to fortify programs and enhance partner capabilities.

The active engagement of parents in their children’s education stands out as a crucial and reliable predictor of academic success. Despite the evident advantages of parental involvement, children with disabilities often lack equal support for their learning compared to their peers without disabilities. Parents may encounter difficulties in adjusting their communication and interaction styles to cater to their child’s disability-specific needs, consequently feeling less equipped to engage in their child’s education and sometimes withdrawing their support.

The decision to leave school prematurely limits the future prospects for education and employment among these children, denying them the necessary skills and knowledge essential for advancing their careers. Broken Chalk firmly advocates for increasing inclusive education as a pivotal means to enhance the prospects of numerous children with disabilities through the educational challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic. Inclusive education embodies the enhancement of conditions and capacities within the education system to accommodate all learners, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic background, nationality, place of residence, or disability status, among other characteristics. It fosters meaningful and successful engagement within the educational framework. This concept encompasses various community and school infrastructure elements, norms, attitudes, and behaviours at the family, community, and school levels.

Broken Chalk calls for urgent investments to lower the educational gaps of children with disabilities that have exponentially grown after the COVID-19 Pandemic through promoting inclusive education all around the world. Moreover, Broken Chalk calls for taking on an intersectional perspective to diminish the societal stigma around children with disabilities throughout education.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.

Signed,

Broken Chalk

Press Release: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Unmasking Modern-Day Slavery in Congo and Sudan

December 2, 2023

The world we live in is adorned with technological marvels that can disguise a terrifying reality—the pervasive existence of modern-day slavery. This press release, “Deceptive Abolition,” exposes the complexities of exploitation in the global supply chain and the haunting echoes of Sudan’s history, challenging the soothing idea of liberation.

As Broken Chalk marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, this press release challenges the notion of liberation, revealing the complex web of exploitation in global supply chains and the echoes of Sudan’s past. The fight against slavery, it seems, is far from over.

Often, gold mines in the Congo are filled with child miners such as Patrice, 15, who started working at this mine when he was only eight years old. Photo by Image Journeys Sasha Lezhnev on Flickr.

Deceptive Abolition: A Closer Look at Congo’s Lithium Mines

Congo’s lithium mines, crucial contributors to the tech sector, have sadly become hotspots for severe human rights violations. The insatiable global demand for smartphones, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage has birthed an exploitative system, forcing individuals into unsafe conditions for meagre remuneration.

The lithium mining process is fraught with peril. Miners, often children, toil in confined and hazardous environments, exposed to toxic chemicals without adequate protection. Reports of child labour, abysmal working conditions, and lack of basic utilities contrast starkly with the illusion of a slavery-free society. The prevalence of slavery in the lithium sector goes beyond ignorance; profit-driven corporations willingly turn a blind eye to the human cost, hiding behind the complexity of global networks.

Congo’s Role in iPhone Production: Unveiling Mass Human Rights Violations

Digging beneath Congo’s surface reveals an abundant lithium source, a critical component in the lithium-ion batteries powering iPhones. As consumers revel in sleek design and advanced functionality, how often do we ponder the human cost? The interconnection between Congo’s mines and Apple’s sophisticated supply chain isn’t accidental; it’s a consequence of a profit-driven global economy. The iPhone, a symbol of technological progress, harbours a dark secret—rampant exploitation in Congo’s lithium mines. Despite claims of sustainability, Apple Inc.’s supply chain practices paint a different picture, casting doubt on corporate accountability and fueling scepticism about the abolition of slavery.

Moving Forward: A Call for Transparency and Accountability

This revelation isn’t an accusation but a call to action. It urges individuals, corporations, and governments to collaborate in creating a world where technological growth aligns with ethical responsibility. Congo’s lithium mines expose the dire need for transparency and accountability across global supply chains. As consumers, we must advocate for companies to embrace responsibility for their product lifecycle. This report by Broken Chalk aims to spark a conversation about the hidden costs of technological advancement, urging collective action to eradicate the persistent stain of modern-day slavery.

Navigating Modern-Day Slavery in Sudan: An Ongoing Crisis

In Sudan’s labyrinthine history, the darkness of slavery has cast a long and haunting shadow, evolving through centuries and manifesting in myriad forms. As we approach the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, it’s crucial to delve into Sudan’s struggle against modern-day bondage, marked by historical legacies and contemporary challenges.

Sudan’s historical tapestry is woven with threads of slavery, dating back to imperial influences and echoes of the second Sudanese civil war. Distressing reports emerged during the 1983-2005 conflict, revealing government-backed militias engaging in practices reminiscent of historical slavery. Abductions and enslavement, particularly in Darfur, drew global attention to egregious human rights violations.

We’ve uncovered enduring shadows in navigating Congo’s lithium mines and Sudan’s historical struggles. These tales of exploitation and resilience demand more than acknowledgement; they beckon us to collective action. The revelations from Congo and Sudan underscore the urgent need for transparency, accountability, and a united front against the chains binding humanity.

As we commemorate the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, let this report be a catalyst for change—a call to confront uncomfortable truths, advocate for ethical responsibility, and strive for a world where progress aligns with justice, human rights, and the unequivocal abolition of modern-day slavery. The shadows may endure, but so does the human spirit’s capacity for resilience and the collective power to break free from persisting shackles.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.

Signed,

Broken Chalk