• Commentary
    Sep 17, 2014
    The Obama administration has made curbing nicotine use by kids a public health priority, with efforts including mass media campaigns to reduce teen smoking and a proposed ban on selling e-cigarettes to minors. But when it comes to the serious health risks run by thousands of children who work each summer on tobacco farms in the United States, the administration has been conspicuously silent.
  • Press release
    Sep 15, 2014
    Nearly 30 percent of all children with disabilities in Russia live in state orphanages where they may face violence and neglect.
  • Press release
    Sep 13, 2014
    The Iraqi government should promptly investigate an airstrike that hit a school housing displaced people near Tikrit on September 1, 2014. The attack killed at least 31 civilians, including 24 children, and wounded 41 others. According to three survivors, no fighters from the armed group Islamic State or other military objects were in or around the school at the time.
  • Commentary
    Sep 12, 2014
    The morning roll call will be a particularly morbid affair on the first day of school in Gaza this Sunday. Hundreds of students, killed in the recent fighting, will be forever marked absent.
  • Press release
    Sep 11, 2014
    Three Israeli attacks that damaged Gaza schools housing displaced people caused numerous civilian casualties in violation of the laws of war.
  • Commentary
    Sep 9, 2014
    Yazidi refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan now sleep in classrooms, hallways, and the courtyards of facilities intended for children’s education. What happens when school starts?
  • Dispatches
    Sep 8, 2014
  • Commentary
    Sep 5, 2014
    A controversial new law in Bolivia makes it the first country in the world to legalize work by 10-year-olds. One justification offered by officials sounded awfully familiar: “Kids want to work.”
  • Press release
    Sep 4, 2014
    The decision by a leading US tobacco growers’ organization to oppose hiring children under 16 to work on tobacco farms is an important step toward ending this hazardous labor practice, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Commentary
    Sep 2, 2014
    The American public became aware of tens of thousands of Central American children at the US-Mexico border after photos of kids jammed into overcrowded detention centers went viral. With fits and starts, the US has made some headway in moving most of these children into foster care and other appropriate accommodations while the courts sort out whether they should be allowed to stay or be sent home.
  • Commentary
    Sep 2, 2014
    Does the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) "return happiness" campaign hold a place for children who languish in Thailand's immigration detention centres?
  • Impact
    Aug 29, 2014
  • Dispatches
    Aug 28, 2014
  • Press release
    Aug 20, 2014
    South Sudan’s army has used child soldiers during recent fighting against opposition forces in violation of international law. South Sudan’s former rebel forces, now the national army, had made tangible progress in ending its longtime practice of using child soldiers. But since the current armed conflict began in December 2013, both the government and opposition have recruited and deployed children in their forces.
  • Letter
    Aug 18, 2014
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed changes to the agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS).
  • Dispatches
    Aug 18, 2014
  • Commentary
    Aug 15, 2014
    “My head started hurting really bad, and I started seeing like all black.” It was mid-afternoon on a scorching summer day in eastern North Carolina when “Jimena,” a 14-year-old farmworker, walked into a tobacco field where she had been sent to work. No one told her that the field had been sprayed with pesticides just hours earlier. “I got really dizzy,” she said, “and I started throwing up.” She told me she was sick for two weeks.
  • Dispatches
    Aug 14, 2014
  • Commentary
    Aug 14, 2014
    The humanitarian crisis of undocumented Central American children may have faded from the headlines, but the problem has not gone away.
  • Impact
    Aug 13, 2014
  • Press release
    Aug 4, 2014
    United Arab Emirates authorities are failing to respond adequately to reports of domestic violence. The UAE should revise its laws to recognize domestic violence as a crime, and take immediate steps to prevent abuse and punish those responsible for domestic violence.
  • Dispatches
    Jul 30, 2014
  • Press release
    Jul 29, 2014
    The US Congress should support greater due process protections for migrant families rather than increasing funding for facilities to detain those crossing the US southern border, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Press release
    Jul 25, 2014
    The United States has failed to comply with key protections under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Human Rights Watch said today. The US, which ratified the treaty in 1994, will appear before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for a periodic review of its record on August 13 and 14, 2014, in Geneva.
  • Press release
    Jul 24, 2014
    The rape of a 6-year-old girl at a school in Bangalore has refocused attention on sexual abuse of children in India.
  • Press release
    Jul 24, 2014
    The public debate over the recent surge in child migrants across the US border with Mexico should spur Congress to reform US immigration policy, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a multimedia feature jointly with Time magazine and Platon/The People’s Portfolio.
  • Dispatches
    Jul 24, 2014
  • Dispatches
    Jul 23, 2014
  • Dispatches
    Jul 22, 2014
  • Commentary
    Jul 22, 2014
  • Commentary
    Jul 18, 2014
  • Press release
    Jul 16, 2014
    Uganda is failing to protect homeless children against police abuse and other violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Street children throughout Uganda’s urban centers face violence, and physical and sexual abuse. National and local government officials should put an end to organized roundups of street children, hold police and others accountable for beatings, and provide improved access for these children to education and healthcare.
  • Dispatches
    Jul 11, 2014
  • Commentary
    Jul 9, 2014
    It was an impressive, yet surprising, accomplishment. On July 12, 2011, with Germany’s then-Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle sitting in the president’s chair, the UN Security Council voted unanimously in support of a groundbreaking resolution that required the UN Secretary-General to report annually on armed forces that used schools for military purposes during times of war in contravention of the international laws of war.
  • Dispatches
    Jul 6, 2014
  • Press release
    Jul 1, 2014
    All parties implicated in a new United Nations’ report about abuses of children during armed conflict should call an immediate halt to these crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN secretary-general’s annual report on children in armed conflict was released on July 1, 2014.
  • Press release
    Jul 1, 2014
    The killing of three abducted Israeli teenagers is a deplorable act and would amount to a war crime if committed by an armed group, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Press release
    Jun 30, 2014
    The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) should immediately release the estimated 133 Kurdish boys it has held hostage in northern Syria for a month.
  • Press release
    Jun 25, 2014
    The United States government’s policy of detaining unaccompanied migrant children, some for long periods, and providing inadequate processing puts them in harm’s way. On June 24, 2014, the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on unaccompanied migrant children – children traveling without parents or guardians. Later today, the House Judiciary Committee will also hold a hearing on the issue.
  • Press release
    Jun 25, 2014
    The Tajikistan government has shortchanged hundreds of families resettled to make way for a large-scale hydroelectric dam. Despite government commitments to comply with international standards on resettlement that protect the rights of those displaced, it has not provided the necessary compensation to displaced families to replace their homes or restore their livelihoods.
  • Commentary
    Jun 25, 2014
    There's no reliable evidence that putting families who enter the US illegally into detention centers actually deters unauthorized immigration. But there's plenty of evidence that it can cause children in those families severe harm – from anxiety and depression, to long-term cognitive damage. That's one big reason that family detention for immigration violations is banned under international law.
  • Press release
    Jun 24, 2014
  • Written statement
    Jun 24, 2014
  • Commentary
    Jun 24, 2014
    When Human Rights Watch first saw Yemi, the 17-year-old boy was huddled on a concrete bench in the corner of a windowless, graffitied holding cell run by the French border police. Clad in a stiff new leather jacket but otherwise without clothing warm enough to face Paris in January, Yemi had been in the cell for nine hours.
  • Oral statement
    Jun 23, 2014
    Human Rights Watch is extremely concerned by Uzbekistan’s appalling human rights record across a wide spectrum of violations. Authorities target civil society activists, political opposition figures, and independent journalists. Human Rights Watch is also deeply concerned about the serious human rights situation in Venezuela, which is the worst we have seen in the country in years.
  • Press release
    Jun 22, 2014
    Non-state armed groups in Syria have used children as young as 15 to fight in battles, sometimes recruiting them under the guise of offering education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The groups have used children as young as 14 in support roles. Extremist Islamist groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) have specifically recruited children through free schooling campaigns that include weapons training, and have given them dangerous tasks, including suicide bombing missions.
  • Press release
    Jun 20, 2014
    The opening of the new Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta is an important milestone to increase awareness of national and global human rights issues in the United States.
  • Press release
    Jun 20, 2014
    India should carry out the recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to improve protection for children affected by armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. The Child Rights Committee made its recommendations to India public on June 19, 2014, in Geneva.
  • Press release
    Jun 18, 2014
    Kurdish authorities running three enclaves in northern Syria have committed arbitrary arrests, due process violations, and failed to address unsolved killings and disappearances, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
  • Press release
    Jun 18, 2014
    Iran’s judiciary should halt the execution of a woman convicted of murdering her husband when she was 17. The woman, who has admitted to shooting her husband while he was asleep, was married at 14 and is the mother of a 6 year old. Authorities have announced that she is at imminent risk of execution. International law strictly prohibits the execution of child offenders.
  • Dispatches
    Jun 15, 2014
  • Press release
    Jun 14, 2014
    A Palestinian autopsy has confirmed that a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli forces during a protest in the West Bank on May 15, 2014, died from injuries caused by live ammunition. The June 11, 2014 autopsy of Nadim Nuwarah, 17, found bullet entry and exit wounds and metal bullet fragments.
  • Press release
    Jun 13, 2014
    The Norwegian government’s leadership to promote international standards to protect schools and universities from military use during armed conflict could spare students and teachers the horrors of war, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack said today. Countries around the globe should work with Norway to support this initiative. Norway’s announcement on June 13, 2014 was contained in its new white paper on global education.
  • Dispatches
    Jun 12, 2014
  • Commentary
    Jun 12, 2014
    Many multinational companies now ban children from working in their operations, but child labor is still a central issue for them. In the globalized economy, products have long and complex supply chains, often reaching down to a multitude of small, local producers. Companies may source from businesses that use child labor without knowing – unless they take steps to ask the question.
  • Press release
    Jun 11, 2014
    The adoption by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on June 11, 2014, of a landmark new treaty will advance the fight to prevent forced labor, and to protect and compensate the estimated 21 million victims worldwide, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments, trade unions, and employers’ organizations that make up the ILO overwhelmingly voted to adopt the ILO Protocol on Forced Labor, which updates a widely-ratified, but outdated, 1930 treaty in order to better address contemporary abuses, including against migrants and in the private sector.
  • Press release
    Jun 9, 2014
    Video footage, photographs, witness statements, and medical records indicate that two 17-year-old boys whom Israeli forces shot and killed on May 15, 2014 posed no imminent threat to the forces at the time. The boys, who had been participating in a demonstration in the West Bank, were apparently shot with live ammunition, Human Rights Watch said.
  • Dispatches
    Jun 3, 2014
  • Dispatches
    May 31, 2014
  • Commentary
    May 28, 2014
  • Dispatches
    May 20, 2014
  • Press release
    May 20, 2014
    Health ministers should pledge to take comprehensive action to prevent and treat the negative health effects of mercury, a toxic chemical. The World Health Assembly is scheduled to discuss a resolution on the new international treaty on mercury, the Minamata Convention, on May 21, 2014.
  • Commentary
    May 14, 2014
    Grace, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, doesn't smoke – at 15, she's too young to buy a pack of cigarettes, anyway – but she might as well have had a regular habit. At her job on a tobacco farm last summer, she handled tobacco plants for up to 12 hours a day, steadily absorbing nicotine through her skin.
  • Press release
    May 14, 2014
    Children working on tobacco farms in the United States are exposed to nicotine, toxic pesticides, and other dangers, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While US law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to children, children can legally work on tobacco farms in the US. The world’s largest tobacco companies buy tobacco grown on US farms, but none have child labor policies that sufficiently protect children from hazardous work.
  • Commentary
    May 13, 2014
    Last Saturday, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda opened Education Week at Jamhuri stadium in Dodoma, setting off a national debate about the state of schooling in Tanzania. The week’s theme is “Quality education for all is possible”, and it is part of the government’s Big Results Now initiative, which aims to improve education and boost economic development.
  • Commentary
    May 9, 2014
    Mother’s Day can be particularly devastating for parents of migrant children.
  • Commentary
    May 7, 2014
  • Press release
    May 6, 2014
    A landmark ruling by the California Supreme Court overturns a two-decades-old presumption in favor of life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of certain murders, Human Rights Watch said today. The decision brings the United States closer to the rest of the world in the approach to sentencing for youth.
  • Commentary
    May 6, 2014
    Hundreds of parents have been marching with placards demanding “Find our Daughters” in Nigeria, where over 200 girls were abducted by an Islamist armed group in late April. Many schools had been shut down because of repeated attacks by Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden.” In a cruel twist of fate, the school where the girls were abducted had been reopened only so that they could take their final exams.
  • Press release
    May 6, 2014
    Far too many US laws violate basic principles of justice by requiring disproportionately severe punishment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
  • Dispatches
    May 2, 2014
  • Commentary
    May 2, 2014
    Last month, Britain's shadow development secretary, Jim Murphy, promised to put human rights at the heart of Labour's approach to development. While many welcomed his statement, others have responded more negatively, expressing scepticism about the meaning and advantages of "doing development from a rights perspective". I believe the critics are mistaken.
  • Commentary
    May 1, 2014
  • Commentary
    Apr 29, 2014
    Many people in Lebanon reacted with outrage after YouTube footage surfaced in March showing a man in an office beating three children on the soles of their feet with a wooden stick. Media outlets later identified the man as Moussa Daher, principal of the Makassed School in the village of Daiat al-Arab in southern Lebanon. In the video, Moussa is heard saying to one of the children, “Every time you put your feet down I will beat you more.” The children are crying and pleading for him to stop.
  • Press release
    Apr 22, 2014
    School authorities in India persistently discriminate against children from marginalized communities, denying them their right to education.
  • Commentary
    Apr 22, 2014
    Over 40 percent of India’s children drop out of school before finishing 8th grade, despite a recent law designed to provide free and compulsory elementary education for all. Most students who quit school are from the lowest rungs of Indian society. A new Human Rights Watch report, “They Say We’re Dirty,” shows that discrimination by teachers and school officials fail to provide a welcoming and child-friendly school environment for these children. India researcher Jayshree Bajoria talks with Amy Braunschweiger about the consequences of persistent discrimination and what needs to change to keep these kids in school.
  • Commentary
    Apr 10, 2014
    Last month I stood in a room at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, talking to a scared refugee boy and sharing a box of cookies. Abid was alone in France, without a parent or a guardian. But was he really in France? I was on French soil. But according to the French government, Abid, 16, was not in the same country as I. And under that Kafkaesque legal fiction, they kept him locked up at the airport.
  • Press release
    Apr 10, 2014
    Every year, the state of Florida arbitrarily and unfairly prosecutes hundreds of children as adults, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. If convicted, these children suffer the lifelong consequences of an adult felony record for what are often low-level, nonviolent offenses.
  • Commentary
    Apr 10, 2014
  • Press release
    Apr 8, 2014
    France detains as many as 500 children who arrive in the country alone each year in transit zones at the borders, where they are denied the protection and due process rights afforded other unaccompanied children on French territory. Any unaccompanied child who arrives in France should be admitted to the country and provided with shelter and care while their immigration claims are decided.
  • Dispatches
    Apr 2, 2014
  • Impact
    Apr 1, 2014
  • Press release
    Mar 28, 2014
    The Tanzanian government should allow children access to secondary school regardless of their final primary school exam results, Human Rights Watch and the Tanzania Child Rights Forum said today in a letter to the education minister.
  • Letter
    Mar 28, 2014
  • Press release
    Mar 25, 2014
    Maoist insurgents and government security forces in India should respect children’s safety and right to education by keeping schools off-limits in the weeks before the April and May 2014 national elections, Human Rights Watch said today. The Maoists, also known as “Naxalites,” should cease all attacks on schools. Government security forces should not occupy schools as barracks or bases, which puts children at risk.
  • Press release
    Mar 25, 2014
    The United States should end the practice of sentencing people convicted of crimes committed before age 18 to life in prison without parole, Human Rights Watch said today in an amicus brief filed in a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
  • Amicus briefing
    Mar 24, 2014
  • UPR
    Mar 21, 2014
    Human Rights Watch welcomes that Malta has, as discussed through the UPR process, made considerable steps since the previous UPR towards improving its reception system for asylum seekers, including by making asylum accessible and improving conditions of detention. Yet we deeply regret that Malta continues to subject migrants and asylum seekers arriving by boat to automatic detention. While there are currently some limited paths available to challenge detention in Malta, these are insufficient to meet Malta’s legal obligations to avoid arbitrary detention.
  • Commentary
    Mar 20, 2014
  • UPR
    Mar 20, 2014
  • Press release
    Mar 19, 2014
    Senegal has made inadequate progress in protecting thousands of young boys in Quranic boarding schools from exploitation and often extreme physical abuse at the hands of their teachers. The National Assembly should make it a priority to pass draft legislation aimed at improving living conditions and ending forced begging in these schools, and the government should swiftly enforce it.
  • Fact Sheet
    Mar 18, 2014
    There was widespread destruction of schools in direct attacks, including air strikes, bombing, shelling and looting, as well as in general fighting and in clashes during protests. Schools and universities were used as barracks, bases and firing positions.
  • Press release
    Mar 11, 2014
    Iraq’s Council of Ministers should withdraw a new draft Personal Status Law and ensure that Iraq’s legal framework protects women and girls in line with its international obligations. The pending legislation would restrict women’s rights in matters of inheritance and parental and other rights after divorce, make it easier for men to take multiple wives, and allow girls to be married from age nine.
  • Press release
    Mar 6, 2014
    The government of Malawi should increase efforts to end widespread child and forced marriage, or risk worsening poverty, illiteracy, and preventable maternal deaths in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2014.
  • Letter
    Mar 4, 2014
  • Commentary
    Mar 4, 2014
    There is growing recognition that military use of schools should be curbed to prevent further harm to students, teachers and educational facilities – writes Zama Coursen-Neff
  • Press release
    Feb 27, 2014
    Schools and universities, as well as students, teachers, and academics are intentionally targeted for attack in conflicts worldwide, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack said in a 250-page study released today. “Education Under Attack 2014” identifies 70 countries where attacks occurred between 2009 and 2013, including 30 where there was a pattern of deliberate attacks (see map).
  • Press release
    Feb 22, 2014
    A coalition of 17 international humanitarian, human rights and peace groups welcome the unanimous UN Security Council resolution demanding safe and unhindered humanitarian access – including across conflict lines and across borders – to people in need throughout Syria.
  • Commentary
    Feb 14, 2014
    Mercury poisoning is affecting lives of children working in gold mining.
  • Press release
    Feb 9, 2014
    Yemeni lawmakers should act on recommendations by the National Dialogue Conference on Yemen’s future constitution. In particular, the lawmakers should address recommendations that promote justice for abuses during the 2011 uprising, defend women’s equality, and promote other basic rights.
  • Dispatches
    Feb 4, 2014
  • Commentary
    Jan 27, 2014
    President Vladimir Putin's widely reported statement to a group of volunteers in Sochi on January 17 that "gay sex is not a crime in Russia, so gay people can feel calm, at ease, but leave children in peace, please" was highly offensive.
  • Press release
    Jan 24, 2014
    The Bolivian government should reject proposals to lower its minimum age of employment below 14, Human Rights Watch said today. President Evo Morales recently expressed support for proposals from a union of child and adolescent workers to abolish a minimum age for “independent work” and to establish a minimum age of 12 for all other jobs.
  • Letter
    Jan 24, 2014
  • Letter
    Jan 21, 2014
    We write to highlight the work of Germany on the topic of protecting students, teachers, and schools during times of armed conflict, in accordance with article 28(3) on promoting and encouraging international cooperation in matters related to education, and article 38(1) and 38(4) on ensuring respect for rules of international humanitarian law and the protection and care of children who are affected by armed conflict. We also provide some suggested recommendations on how Germany could continue to help ensure these protections.
  • Oral statement
    Jan 20, 2014
    Since the Seleka rebel coalition seized power in March 2013, the Central African Republic has been in the grip of a grave human rights and humanitarian crisis. Human Rights Watch, since April 2013, has documented widespread burning and pillaging of villages, extrajudicial executions, rape, and the recruitment of children as soldiers by Seleka forces. In August 2013, Christian anti-balaka militia, in an attempt to seize power and retaliate against the predominantly Muslim Seleka, began to target Muslim residents, whom they accused of supporting the Seleka. Human Rights Watch has investigated the cycle of sectarian violence since then.
  • Commentary
    Jan 13, 2014
    "It could have been anyone in this courtroom. Your mother. Your lawyer. It could have been me." The judge drilled down on the random murder of a woman for her car. Edel Gonzalez, a diminutive 38-year-old man, sat shackled in a prison jumpsuit before the bench and nodded in agreement. "It was brutal," the judge repeated with force.
  • Dispatches
    Jan 7, 2014
  • Press release
    Jan 6, 2014
    Thailand’s government should urgently send ethnic Rohingya children from Burma and their families to safe and open family shelters. New research documents abuses by Thai authorities, who should take action against camps in southern Thailand used for trafficking Rohingya and punish officials complicit in abuse.
  • Press release
    Jan 5, 2014
    No evidence has been presented by the Israeli authorities that a 15-year-old boy fatally shot in the back by Israeli soldiers near his school on December 9, 2013, posed any threat to life that would justify such a killing. It was the second incident involving the lethal shooting of a child running from Israeli forces deployed near a school in 2013.