Sophia Fredericks, Social Engagement Intern, National Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Guinea: A year has passed by and still those who have suffered at the hands of election violence in Conakry, Guinea have not received justice. Authorities are calling for steps to be taken for those who were shot, raped or beaten, to ensure justice is rightfully awarded. The election violence began with President Alpha Conde running against seven others, including his main opposition leader who had lost to him in the past. There was mistrust of the government around election time as the country was in the midst of the fight against Ebola. It was also found that the country has a past history of violence around elections.
As many as 60 people died at the hands of the violence. However, political parties are calling for those who fell victim to these crimes to receive fair compensation. One form of compensation will be awarded to those who lost family members and for the disabled, and another fund will be for direct victims of the election violence. However the government has still not made an effort to investigate the injustice.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are calling the lack of action from officials to prevent the violence, a violation of the right to life in itself and say the issues still remain unaddressed. They are urging that authorities contribute to proper investigations of the injustice that occurred. The United States is also denouncing the violence in saying that this type of violence has “no place in the democratic society Guinea aspires to become.”
Greece: 1500 refugee children in Greece set to receive an education under a national programme for migrant children faced protests on their first day of school. Greek parents are the ones participating in the protests but regardless the children were escorted into school by police. The parents say that they fear their children will be infected with infectious diseases as a result of attending school with refugee children.
Parents are saying the refugee children have not been vaccinated. Some parents even kept their children at home and are calling for local authorities to take action. The parents deny racism and rather justify the protests saying they are concerned about health and that the cultural differences between children may act as a disruption to learning. There was some protest, but also a positive response from other schools who welcomed the children without issue.
Many of these refugee children stuck in camps have been out of school for as long as a year and a half. The plan is to educate at least 8,500 children who have not been attending school. The children will learn Greek and eventually be integrated into other classes once proficient enough in the language. They will also learn math and another language depending on travel plans. Twenty eight percent of the refugees in Greece are children and despite protests, thousands more of refugee children are set to be integrated into the schooling system.