• Millions of children have no access to education, work long hours under hazardous conditions, are forced to serve as soldiers in armed conflict, or languish in institutions or detention centers where they endure inhumane conditions and assaults on their dignity. Young and immature, they are often easily exploited. In many cases, they are abused by the very individuals responsible for their care. We are working to help protect children around the world, so they can grow into adults.
  • A 14-year-old fighter in a Free Syrian Army brigade takes position inside a house in Deir al-Zor, a city in eastern Syria, in July 2013.
    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.

Reports

Children's Rights

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jul 6, 2014
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jun 24, 2014