The Syrian Refugee Kids Still Not In School: Daily Brief

Too many Syrian refugee kids still not in school; Greece accused of refugee push backs; what a post-war Syria looks like; Russia's problematic 'gay propaganda' law; 'slave labor' protests in Hungary; fire destroys ballot boxes ahead of fraught DR Congo elections; Iran's crackdown on lawyers; Central African Republic militia leader arrested in France; and how to buy jewelry during the holidays without abusing human rights... 

The number of Syrian refugee children enrolled in school in Lebanon has stalled at the same inadequate levels as last school year, HRW said today. Fewer than half of the 631,000 school-age refugee children in Lebanon are in formal education. Lebanon's Education Ministry says it needs to limit enrollment and cut costs due to insufficient funding from international donors.

Greece has been accused of conducting violent push backs against refugees trying to enter the country from Turkey. With winter setting in fast, migration flows into Greece have rocketed, leaving Greek guards overwhelmed.

What does a post-war Syria look like? Hostilities may be wrapping up but little has been done to tackle why the conflict exploded in the first place

Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law is harming young LGBT people by "cutting them off from vital information,” HRW says. Amid the intense social hostility surrounding LGBT people in Russia, the law stops mental health providers from counseling children who have questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Protests have broken out in Hungary after the country's parliament passed new labour laws which have been labelled "slave labour" by opponents. New rules mean companies can demand up to 400 hours of overtime a year and delay paying workers for it. Police reportedly used tear gas against crowds on the steps of the parliament building.

A mysterious fire has gutted the electoral commission depot in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, just days before a heavily-contested presidential vote is set to take place. Election officials said scores of voting machines had been destroyed in the blaze, but is insisting the polls should go ahead. 

Iranian authorities have escalated their crackdown on lawyers, HRW said today. It comes amid breaking news reports that a prisoner jailed for social media posts, Vahid Sayadi Nasiri, has died after 60 days on hunger strike

The arrest of a former militia leader in Central African Republic, who claimed he was “untouchable” because of his senior post at the Confederation of African Football, will be a wake-up call for perpetrators of the worst crimes all over the world: even those in positions of power can be held to account.

And finally, few people think of human rights problems when buying jewelry for people we love. Or, if we do, we believe there must international rules to ensure, for example, that revenue from precious stones and metal is not used to fund violence. But there is little reason for reassurance