Children's and Young Persons’ Rights

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Background: On December 11, 1998, an explosion occurred in a fireworks factory in Santo Antônio de Jesus, Brazil. The factory consisted of a set of tents located in paddocks with shared worktables. As a result of the explosion, 60 people died and six were injured. Among those who lost their lives were 59 women, 19 of whom were girls, and one boy. Among the survivors were three adult women, two boys and one girl. Four of the deceased women were pregnant; one of them was able to give birth before dying.

On May 6th, several human rights organizations submitted a joint third-party intervention in Duarte Agostinho and others v. Portugal and others, the first climate change case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The intervenors drew on international, regional...

The action arose from an appeal of two High Court decisions that were issued in 2016. A local women’s group (Mahila Mandals) and other self-help groups challenged the validity of a tender notice issued by the state of Maharashtra that year. The tender awarded a contract to large corporations with strong political connections for the supply of nutritional food supplements to beneficiaries under the ICDS.

In 2014 and 2015, an outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone forced schools to close for nine months. One consequence of the closures was a significant spike in pregnancies among teenage girls (in some areas, rates went up 65%). As a result, the then-Minister of Education, Science and Technology publicly stated that pregnant girls would not be able to attend mainstream schools while they were pregnant in order to avoid adversely influencing their peers.

This tutela case concerned the requirement that the state provide health services to a group of children living in an impoverished area of Bogotá. Four hundred and eighteen families brought this action against the Ministry of Health and the District Secretary of Health seeking free vaccines against two strains of bacterial meningitis. The plaintiffs argued their case under Article 44 of the Colombian Constitution, which guarantees certain freedoms and protections to children, and under various treaties to which Colombia subscribed.

In 2005, Germany began the fourth stage of a program aimed at reducing the costs of the country’s social welfare system, an initiative named after its chief architect, Volkswagen personnel director, Peter Hartz. Hartz IV merged unemployment and welfare benefits, fixing the standard benefit for single people living in old West German states (including East Berlin) at 345 Euros per month. This amount was determined based on a statistical survey of income and expenditure of lower income groups. Benefits for other household members were determined as a percentage of 345 Euros.

High Court of Uganda Finds Discrepancy in Quality between Public, Government Aided and Public Private Partnership Schools, Vioaltes the Right to Education and Equality

Following the introduction of the Universal Secondary Education (USE) program in 2007 by the Government of Uganda, the program was subsequently implemented in public schools, government grant aided schools, private for profit Public Private Partnership (PPP) schools, and private not for profit PPPs. The Government paid UGX 47,000 per student for those enrolled in PPP schools, as opposed to UGX 230,000 per student enrolled in government aided and public schools.

Colombian Supreme Court Rules to Protect Future Generations and Amazon Rainforest in Climate Change Case

With the support of Dejusticia, 25 children and youth filed suit against the President of Colombia, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and the municipalities of the Colombian Amazon claiming that deforestation in the country’s Amazon region and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions threaten their rights to a healthy environment, life, health, food, and access to water.

Shelter Residents Successfully Challenge Rules on Family Separation and Lockout

This case grew out of the 2011 judgment in Blue Moonlight, where the Constitutional Court of South Africa held that municipalities have a constitutional obligation to provide temporary emergency accommodation to all evictees who would be rendered homeless.

African Children's Rights Committee holds Mauritania Accountable for Child Slavery

Said Ould Salem and his younger brother, Yarg Ould Salem, were born to a Haratine mother, part of Mauritania’s former slave class. While slavery is now outlawed in Mauritania, the practice remains widespread, commonly victimizing members of the Haratine minority. From birth onwards, both brothers became slaves to the El Hassine family. The two children worked seven days a week without rest, including on Fridays.