1. Schools in Sierra Leone re-open
More than a month after deadly mudslides swept through Freetown, Sierra Leone, schools are starting up again in conjunction with the official start of the academic year. In some schools, however, students and teachers aren’t able to access their classrooms as they’re still being used as temporary shelters. In other cases, attendance is low as displacement and recovery efforts are making it difficult for parents to send kids to school.
2. At UN, Canadian Prime Minister addresses human rights abuses against indigenous peoples
The colonization of indigenous peoples in Canada got the spotlight at the United Nations on Thursday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged its harmful legacy and promised to support First Nations’ right to self-determination.
However moving his speech may have been to some, Trudeau has come under criticism throughout his term for not taking concrete actions to protect indigenous rights. For example, many indigenous communities still lack access to safe drinking water.
3. The Philippine Congress passes LGBTQ rights bill
On Wednesday the Philippine House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill to protect the rights of LGBTQ people. If it passes the Senate and eventually becomes law, the measure will penalize acts of discrimination such as gender profiling and require “government agencies, private companies, and educational institutions” to take steps to facilitate greater inclusion of LGBTQ people.