Foreign Policy Blogs

Updates on Women, Children and Human Rights from Around the Globe


Updates on Women, Children and Human Rights from Around the Globe

Vera Niyokwizera, 22, with her fourth child, who was born safely thanks to an emergency Médecins Sans Frontières programme. Photograph: Clar Ni Chonghaile

Burundi obstetric clinic slows maternal deaths
The Burundi region of Kabezi has already met the Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality by 75% from 1990 rates thanks to an emergency obstetric care clinic run by Médecins sans Frontières, and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “You do not need state-of-the-art facilities or equipment to save many women’s lives,” says MSF medical adviser Vincent Lambert.

Polio Vaccination required in 3 countries before foreign travel
A report from the monitoring board of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative suggests that people from Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan must prove they have been vaccinated before being allowed to leave the polio-endemic countries.

Educating the 61 million kids who need it
The Educate a Child initiative announced would contribute to the more than $150 million slated to be spent in 17 countries over the next three to seven years to bring schooling to 61 million children worldwide. “Right across the world, because of disaster, because of poverty, children are being denied a chance to change their destinies. We can change this, and because we can, we must,” said Sheika Moza bint Nasser, wife of the emir of Qatar, who is partnering with agencies including the United Nations refugee agency and UNESCO.

Colombia’s displaced female population is subject to abuse
Many of the more than 2 million girls and women displaced by violence and civil conflict in Colombia have become victims of rape and abuse, according to Human Rights Watch. Although Colombia has strong laws against such crimes, female victims often lack medical help and the attackers rarely face justice.

“Info Ladies” deliver Web service by bicycle in Bangladesh
Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis are gaining access to the Web through dozens of “Info Ladies” who bicycle into communities with an Internet connection, laptop, printer and camera. The local group, D.Net, aims to train 15,000 such women by 2016.

In their own words: Women and clean cookstoves
The documentary film series “Black Inside — Three Women’s Voices,” spotlights three women — in Kenya, India and Peru — and a look at their lives, in their own words, through the filter of traditional cookstoves. Replacing them with cleaner-burning stoves can be a matter of life and death.

Studying effects of cookstoves on air, disease
A three-year study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research will use newly developed air-quality sensors to help gauge the effects of traditional cooking methods — and the accompanying smoke — on the health of Ghanaians. “Given that an estimated 3 billion people worldwide are cooking over fire and smoke, we need to better understand how these pollutants are affecting public health as well as regional air quality and even the climate,” said Christine Wiedinmyer, who is leading the study

Are private schools good or bad for Africa?
A Dubai-based company has opened its first private school in Africa — a secondary school in Kenya — and intends to open more such schools across the continent to compensate for government underinvestment. Still, private schools are controversial in that they are seen as sowing inequality, especially because tuitions are well beyond the reach of most Africans.

Pakistani parents arrested in daughter’s acid killing
A mother and father in Pakistan have been arrested in the death of their 15-year-old daughter, Anusha, who died after more than half her body was burned by acid in an attack by her parents for reportedly looking at a boy.



Cassandra Clifford

Cassandra Clifford is the Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation, which works to enhance and improve the services and opportunities available to survivors of modern slavery. She holds an M.A., International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, as well as a B.A., Marketing and A.S., Fashion Merchandise/Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cassandra has previously worked in both the corporate and charity sector for various industries and causes, including; Child Trafficking, Learning Disabilities, Publishing, Marketing, Public Relations and Fashion. Currently Cassandra is conducting independent research on the use of rape as a weapon of war, as well as America’s Pimp Culture and its Impact on Modern Slavery. In addition to her many purists Cassandra is also working to develop a series of children’s books.

Cassandra currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she also writes for the Examiner, as the DC Human Rights Examiner, and serves as an active leadership member of DC Stop Modern Slavery.

Areas of Focus:
Children's Rights; Human Rights; Conflict