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On the first day of school, children often worry whether they'll make new friends or like their teachers. But in the Dominican Republic, some confront a far graver concern: Will I be turned away because I don't have a birth certificate?
The report, Left Behind: How Statelessness in the Dominican Republic Limits Children's Access to Education, shows that many children born in the Dominican Republic but descended from foreigners, particularly Haitians, are denied an education. For generations, such children were recognized as citizens, but within the last decade, the Dominican government has refused to issue many of them birth certificates, identity cards and other essential documentation, rendering them stateless. The report concludes that the Dominican Republic is failing to comply with its domestic and international human rights obligations, including the human right to education.
The report is the product of months of research, including interviews with dozens of affected children and families, as well as educators, advocates and government officials. Several of the Dominicans of Haitian descent interviewed were prevented from attending primary school, secondary school or university because they could not obtain identity documents. Of those allowed to attend school despite not having birth certificates, many were denied the ability to take national exams required to graduate.
All of this occurs in spite of laws, policies, constitutional provisions and international human rights commitments that are meant to guarantee children's right to education. The report found that administrative barriers, discrimination and confusion about the law has meant that in practice not all children in the Dominican Republic are allowed to go to school, even if they consider themselves Dominicans.
En el primer día de escuela, los niños a menudo se preocupan si van a hacer nuevos amigos o si le van ha gustarsus maestros. Pero en la República Dominicana, algunos enfrentan una preocupación mucho más grave: ¿Tendré que dejar de cursar estudios porque carezco de un certificado de nacimiento?
El informe, Dejado Atrás: Como la Apatridia en la República Dominicana Limita el Acceso de los Niños a la Educación, videncia como muchos niños nacidos en la República Dominicana, descendientes de extranjeros, particularmente haitianos, enfrentan obstáculos para tener acceso a la educación. Durante generaciones, esos niños fueron reconocidos como ciudadanos, pero en la última década, el gobierno dominicano se ha negado a emitir certificados de nacimiento, tarjetas de identidad y otros tipos de documentación esencial, resultando para muchos de ellos en una situación de apatridia. El informe concluye que la República Dominicana no está cumpliendo con sus obligaciones nacionales e internacionales de derechos humanos, incluido el derecho humano a la educación.
El informe es producto de meses de investigación y decenas de entrevistas con familias afectadas, así como con educadores, defensores y funcionarios gubernamentales. Muchos dominicanos de ascendencia haitiana que fueron entrevistados fueron privados del derecho a acceder a la educación primaria, secundaria o universitaria por no haber podido obtener documentos de identidad. En los casos en los que los niños han podido acceder a la educación, a muchos de ellos se les ha negado la oportunidad de tomar los exámenes nacionales necesarios para graduarse por no poseer un acta de nacimiento.
Todo esto ocurre a pesar de que las leyes, políticas y garantías constitucionales tienen como propósito que todos los niños tengan acceso a la educación. El informe observa que las barreras administrativas, la discriminación y la confusión acerca de la ley representan que en la práctica, no todos los niños en la República Dominicana tienen permitido asistir a la escuela, aún y cuando ellos mismos se consideran orgullosamente Dominicanos.
This publication considers how attacks on education during insecurity and armed conflict have been redressed in the past and may be redressed in the future. In identifying innovative approaches and new trends in the field of reparation, it reflects on how education can be used as a means of reparation and as a means to minimise the risk of conflicts recurring. In doing so, the publication brings together wide-ranging examples of law and practice from the international, regional and domestic spheres through an analysis of the relevant law in each sphere.
This study examines the use of schools and other education institutions for military purposes by government armed forces and opposition or pro-government armed groups during times of armed conflict or insecurity. Schools are used for barracks, logistics bases, operational headquarters, weapons and ammunition caches, detention and interrogation centres, firing and observation positions, and recruitment grounds.
The study highlights examples of good practice, in which governments have adopted policies that explicitly ban or restrict militaries from using education facilities.
The study also calls upon states, local organisations, and relevant international agencies to rigorously monitor military use of education institutions to devise effective, coordinated responses, including preventative interventions, rapid response, and both legal and non-legal accountability measures for those individuals or groups who contravene existing laws, judicial orders, or military orders.
This global study examines threats or deliberate use of force against students, teachers, academics, education trade union members, government officials, aid workers and other education staff, and against schools, universities and other education institutions, carried out for political, military, ideological, sectarian, ethnic or religious reasons in 2009-2013; and military use of education buildings and facilities. It focuses on targeted attacks by state military and security forces and armed non-state groups on education facilities, students or staff, not death, injury or destruction resulting from being caught in crossfire.
It does not examine school attacks by lone armed individuals with none of the above-listed motives or affiliations, such as the school shooting at Sandy Hook in the United States in 2012.
Around the world, armies and rebel groups are taking over schools and universities, turning safe places of learning into places of war. In classrooms, soldiers sleep and store weapons. In school offices, they detain and torture suspects. Playgrounds become training grounds. School grounds become battlegrounds.
This video is to accompany the End Military Use of Schools Campaign (EMUS) led by Human Rights Watch Student Task Force, Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division and Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.
Since the beginnings of 2012, at least 70 teachers and over 100 students have been killed or wounded in northern Nigeria. Educational facilities have been burned, thousands of children forced out of schools and teachers made to flee for safety. The purpose of this briefing is to draw attention to the damaging effects of this on-going violence. It calls on the Islamist armed group Boko Haram and other gunmen to immediately cease all attacks on schools; and on the Nigerian authorities to provide better protection for schools and ensure that attacks are properly investigated.
This case study focuses on two factors that affect displaced children’s ability to exercise their right to education: poverty and discrimination.
Brief about education and disability in Burundi in post-conflict recovery.
On March 2014, the UN Security Council held an Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict and unanimously adopted this resolution setting out practical steps to combat violations against children in armed conflict, including their right to education. An important element in this resolution is the reference to the use of schools by armed forces.