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Human Rights Watch | Thur-day December 6, 2017
In a Tough Year, Some Good News for Children
For many children around the world, 2017 could hardly have been worse. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya children fled mass atrocities by government security forces in Burma, while millions are bearing the brunt of war and unprecedented humanitarian crisis fueled by the Saudi-led coalition's blockade on food and medicine in Yemen. In Greece, thousands of migrant and asylum-seeking children are trapped in horrific conditions. The list goes on. But there is also some good news for children from 2017. Here are some reasons for hope: After years of child soldier use, the Democratic Republic of Congo's armed forces were removed from the UN's "list of shame" for child recruitment, while hundreds of children were released from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines. In the United States, the states of Arkansas, California, New Jersey, and North Dakota all banned sentences of life without parole for child offenders in 2017 - the most states yet in a single year. Twenty states and the District of Columbia now ban the sentence, up from five states just five years ago. The Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala each raised the minimum age of marriage to 18. New York State, which had allowed children as young as 14 to marry, also passed anti-child marriage legislation...Read more