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A boy helps his older siblings to wash a car in a street of La Paz on May 7, 2014. Hundreds of Bolivian children work as farmers in the fields, perform dangerous tasks in mines or trying to survive in cities of one of the poorest countries in South America where child labor, far from being prohibited, it is considered a way of developing "social conscience."

- AFP/Getty Images

NEW YORK — A controversial new law in Bolivia makes it the first country to legalize work by 10-year-olds. One justification offered by officials sounded awfully familiar: “Kids want to work.”

We’ve spent the last year investigating child labor in the United States, where children at age 12, and even younger, work for tobacco farmers like Paul Hornback, a Kentucky state senator.

“Children need to experience things,” Hornback said on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last month. “When I was a 7-year-old, I was wanting to work.”

Hornback wasn’t the first person to try to justify child labor that way.

We’ve heard that argument in our work around the world — whether about children working on gold mines in Mali and Tanzania, children harvesting sugar cane in El Salvador, or child domestic workers in Morocco. Bolivia’s regressive new law was influenced by pressure from a union of child workers arguing they need to work to support their families.

We’re asked, “Don’t these children want to work?”

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US opera singer and goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Barbara Hendricks (R) looks on as stateless people are registered on June 26, 2014 in a neighborhood of Abidjan during her visit to Ivory Coast to highlight UNHCR's campaign on statelessness.

- AFP/Getty Images

ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire — Until recently, Anastasie, 14, was living under a bridge in a small village in western Côte d'Ivoire. Her mother died when she was a baby. She has never met her father. She was abandoned by her foster family, and has no other ties. She has no documents to prove her identity. No one can vouch for her place of birth or testify that she was born to an Ivorian parent, the strict legal requirement to prove citizenship in Côte d'Ivoire.

Being “from nowhere,” bereft of citizenship, is not just an administrative inconvenience; it has severe consequences. When Anastasie turns 18, she will not be able to go to university or get a job. She will not be allowed to open a bank account, own land, get legally married, register the birth of her children, travel or vote.
Anastasie is not alone. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that close to 10 million people around the world also are stateless and are not considered nationals of any country.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in the capital Tehran on June 14, 2014. Iran may consider cooperating with the United States in fighting Sunni extremist fighters in Iraq if Washington acts against them, Rouhani told journalists.

- AFP/Getty Images

KABUL — It has now been more than a month since my friends, journalists Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi, were detained in Iran. No formal charges have been brought against them, and nobody knows where they are or who ordered the arrest.

What does seem clear, however, is that they were not arrested for anything they wrote or reported. Rather, the two seem to be used as pawns in a political struggle, of which not just they but also the Iranian people are victims.

Jason, an Iranian-American citizen, has been The Washington Post’s correspondent since 2012. Yeganeh, or Yegi to friends, has reported for various outlets, including the Emirati newspaper, The National and GlobalPost. Both were formally authorized to work as journalists. They were arrested in their Tehran apartment on July 22 by unidentified plainclothes officers who reportedly went to the effort of trashing the place while they were at it.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 22: Freida Pinto, actress and Plan International Girls' Rights Ambassador, delivers a speech at the 'Girl Summit 2014' in Walworth Academy on July 22, 2014 in London, England. At the one-day summit the government has announced that parents will face prosecution if they fail to prevent their daughters suffering female genital mutilation (FGM).

- Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Two critical recent events — one in the United Kingdom and one in the US — have given increasing recognition to the rights of adolescent girls.

The Girl Summit in London to end child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) was co-hosted by the UK and UNICEF. “Investing in the Next Generation” was a focus of discussions among more than 40 African heads of state that came to Washington for the first-ever US-Africa Leaders Summit.

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Two Palestinian boys walk amid the rubble of destroyed homes in Shejaiya on August 27, 2014. Shejaiya is one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in fighting between Hamas militants and Israel during 50 days of fighting. Israel and Palestinians both boasted of victory in the Gaza war but analysts say Hamas received only promises while the conflict aggravated divisions in the Israeli leadership.

- AFP/Getty Images

BOSTON — I admit it. I find myself in unfamiliar territory. Twenty-five years in the Israeli Foreign Service, during which I spent much of my time countering terrorism and its supporters, didn't prepare me for this. In our fight against Hamas, I am pro-Palestinian.  

Really.

As a human being, an Israeli and a Jew, I cannot ignore the suffering that Gazans — like their Muslim, Christian and Jewish Israeli neighbors across the border — have undergone during two months of fighting. It's truly painful to see.

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Iraqi Shiite volunteers from the University of Basra that have joined government forces to fight Sunni jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) take part in a graduation ceremony in the southern port city of Basra on August 23, 2014. Jihadist-led militants launched a major offensive in June, overrunning large areas of five provinces and sweeping security forces aside.

- AFP/Getty Images

KABUL, Afghanistan — As the flames of war burn terrible scars into Gaza, Israel, Iraq, Syria and beyond, a viable path to peace presents itself. It has little to do with the US military or President Obama.

The solution lies in the Arab world itself.

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A displaced Iraqi child who fled Wadi Osaj village near Jalawla, Kurdistan as battles between peshmerga and Islamic State (IS) jihadists broke out, looks into the camera at a village near the Diyala province town of Khaniqin, where many displaced people are taking shelter on August 25, 2014.

- AFP/Getty Images

DENVER — The beheading of American journalist James Foley shocked this nation and the world. By filming his murder and distributing the video across the internet, the Islamic State appalled a world already grown accustomed to the nightmare horrors of terrorism since 9/11.

For me, Foley’s tragic death brought back haunting memories from my work in the Foreign Service.

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A parishioner holds a prayer card in memory of James Foley after a Catholic mass at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary parish August 24, 2014, in Rochester, New Hampshire. The family and friends of murdered US journalist James Foley attended the memorial mass and offered prayers for the safety of his fellow hostages in Syria.

- AFP/Getty Images

SYDNEY, Australia — As a final-year medical student, even in my darkest and most stressful hours prior to exams and assessments, I still think some small part of me wants to change the world. I wonder what kind of doctor I should become in order to do this. I wonder where I should work. I wonder if I should go into family practice instead, and just play it safe: have nice patients, a nice car and a nice, easy life. 

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Some of the Chibok schoolgirls who escaped their Boko Haram Islamist captors wait to meet the Nigerian president at the presidency in Abuja on July 22, 2014.

- AFP/Getty Images

NAIROBi, Kenya — “I really want to go back to school so that I can get a job and live a better life,” Changamile told us from her home in rural Malawi. But Changamile married at 16, and she has too much housework and no support from her family to return to school.

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Congo President Denis Sassou N'guesso (L) shakes with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 13, 2014. Denis Sassou N'guesso is on a visit to China from June 11 to 19.

- Getty Images

WASHINGTON DC — As Washington hosts the first US-Africa Leaders Summit, it’s worth comparing America and Chinese engagement in Africa. Both countries compete for access to the continent’s natural resources and growing consumer markets. For the sake of economic competitiveness, some experts urge President Obama to avoid the issues of democratic governance and human rights during the summit, just as China has done during summits in Beijing.

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