• May 20, 2015
    Thousands of minority Rohingya Muslims remain stranded at sea without adequate food and water. On Wednesday, 20 May, Malaysia and Indonesia finally bowed to mounting international pressure, announcing that they would offer refugees temporary shelter provided that they are resettled and repatriated by the international community within a year. Roma Rajpal Weiß spoke to Phil Robertson, the deputy director of Human Rights Watch in Asia, who condemned the policy of the countries of South-East Asia
  • April 27, 2015

    In mid-2015, the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, will stand trial on charges of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes before the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Senegal court system. The chambers were inaugurated by Senegal and the African Union in February 2013 to prosecute the “person or persons” most responsible for international crimes committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990, the period when Habré ruled Chad. 

    Habré’s trial will be the first in the world in which the courts of one country prosecute the former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes. It will also be the first universal jurisdiction case to proceed to trial in Africa. Universal jurisdiction is a concept under international law that allows national courts to prosecute the most serious crimes even when committed abroad, by a foreigner and against foreign victims. The French newspaper Le Monde has called the case “a turning point for justice in Africa.”

    The following questions and answers provide more information on the case and what lies ahead.

  • April 7, 2015
    In a bid to fight Islamic militants, Malaysia has passed a counter-terrorism law that allows detention without trial for up to two years. But HRW's Phil Robertson views the new law as a step backwards for human rights.
  • April 6, 2015
  • January 9, 2015
    On January 6, 2015, US military advisers supporting the African Union Regional Task Force in the Central African Republic received the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen into custody. The United States, Uganda – the primary contributor to the AU task force – and the Central African Republic should ensure the prompt transfer of Ongwen, believed to be about 34 years old, to the International Criminal Court (ICC). In 2005, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Ongwen for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
  • January 8, 2015
    The following Q&A explores the human rights impact of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, highlighting what remains to be accomplished as the new Congress begins its work and the Obama administration enters its final two years in office.
  • November 17, 2014

    The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations on November 20, 1989, establishing global standards to ensure the protection, survival, and development of all children, without discrimination. Countries that ratify the treaty pledge to protect children from economic and sexual exploitation, violence, and other forms of abuse and to advance the rights of children to education, health care, and a decent standard of living. The convention also addresses children’s rights to a name and nationality, to be heard, to be fairly treated when accused of offenses, when deprived of parental care, and other rights.

  • November 5, 2014
    Sifton visited Burma recently. Ahead of President Obama’s visit to Burma, he spoke with The Irrawaddy about his findings related to the reform process, displacement and conflict in Kachin State and the crisis in Arakan State, where Rohingya Muslims suffer from persecution.
  • October 16, 2014
    Hong Kong’s Occupy Movement refers to a citizens’ blockade of major roads in Hong Kong’s Admiralty, Mongkok, and Causeway Bay districts since September 29, 2014. At the height of the protests, hundreds of thousands of students, activists, ordinary citizens, and politicians took to the streets to press the Hong Kong government to respond to their demands for full democracy in the territory.
  • October 3, 2014
    On September 23, 2014, the United States government announced a new policy with a commitment not to use antipersonnel landmines outside of the Korean Peninsula and not to assist, encourage, or induce other nations to use, stockpile, produce, or transfer antipersonnel mines outside of Korea. On June 27, the US announced a policy foreswearing future production or acquisition of antipersonnel landmines. It said the Defense Department will conduct a detailed study of alternatives to antipersonnel mines and the impact of making no further use of the weapon.