OHANNESBURG, May 28 2014 (IPS) - Just 17 years old, Clarisse is already a mother of two, who lives with her husband and his four other wives in rural southern Chad. Three years earlier, she had watched her mom and sisters preparing food for a party one day. At first she celebrated along with everyone else, not realising it was her own wedding ceremony. When she discovered this, she was frantic.

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Growing up, Ojonwa Miachi's parents were told not to spend on education for her and her four other siblings — all of whom are female. However, her parents refused to give in to pressure and were determined to give all of their five daughters the education they themselves were fortunate enough to receive.

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When my first child was born four years ago, no sooner had he entered the world, than the hospital staff handed me a form to fill out. Despite my happy, delirious, sleep-deprived state of mind, I was able to fill out the simple form and hand it off to a nurse. It was really an afterthought for me. I was more concerned with spelling my son's name correctly and how I would change a diaper than what the form actually meant. And yet, about six weeks later, a birth certificate arrived in the mail. I spent three minutes filling out a form but it wasn't until that certificate arrived that the government knew my son existed. This is a right I had always taken for granted and yet it is denied to millions of children around the world every year.

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new U.N. report names 21 countries where rape and other sexual violence has been committed in current and recent conflicts, from Afghanistan and Central African Republic to Myanmar and Syria.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's report, launched Thursday, says there is now unprecedented political momentum globally to end conflict-related sexual violence, but more action is needed regionally and nationally to respond to these crimes. 

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April 19, 2014 (JUBA) - A number of children were killed in Thursday's fighting at a United Nations base in South Sudan's Jonglei state, with many either caught up in the crossfire or died after being recruited by armed groups and forces, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said.

The exact number of children killed, it said, was not yet known but they were among the dozens of civilians injured and many killed when gunmen attacked those internally displaced at the UN protection of civilians site in the capital, Bor.

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Earlier this month, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced "child-marriage free zones" to be established in Pakistan. The UN special envoy on global education said the move is part of a global effort to end the practice, and will try to keep Pakistani girls in school.

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Unicef calls for three years' sustained financing for education of displaced children to prevent even greater humanitarian disaster

The crisis in Syria, which has left 5.5 million children in need of urgent educational and psychological support, will become an even greater humanitarian catastrophe if the international community does not come up with three years' guaranteed funding, Unicef has warned.

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