(Amman) – Human Rights Watch will open a regional office in Amman, Jordan, in February 2023, in a move to intensify its advocacy on key human rights issues across the Middle East and North Africa, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has operated a separate Jordan country office in Amman since 2014. Jordan’s Ministry of Industry and Trade approved Human Rights Watch’s request to establish the regional office in October 2022.
“While most governments across the Middle East and North Africa are increasingly suppressing dissent and stymying the human rights movement, Jordan has taken a positive step for more human rights engagement in the broader region,” said Lama Fakih, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Our Jordan country office will continue to address increasing restrictions on basic rights in Jordan and to advocate with the Jordanian government to make important human rights reforms.”
Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization with close to 600 staff members working around the globe. The staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and over 80 nationalities. In addition to the regional office in Jordan, Human Rights Watch also has offices for the Middle East and North Africa region in Tunisia and Lebanon.
Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is known for its accurate fact-finding and impartial reporting to highlight human rights abuses, and targeted advocacy to bring them to an end. It works in close partnership with local human rights groups worldwide.
Each year, Human Rights Watch publishes hundreds of reports, briefings, news releases, and opinion articles on human rights conditions about 100 countries. Recent investigations include an examination of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and whether particular policies and practices in certain areas amount to apartheid and persecution, the responsibility of Lebanese officials for the August 2020 Beirut blast, and the lack of accountability for killings and disappearances of protesters during and after the 2019-2020 popular uprising in central and southern Iraq.
Human Rights Watch has published dozens of reports highlighting human rights violations in Jordan for more than two decades, including a September 2022 report documenting increasing restrictions on civic space in the country.
Human Rights Watch is supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.
“At a time when civic space is shrinking in many countries in the region, Jordan is taking a positive step in its engagement with global institutions,” Fakih said. “This is a positive step, and we hope it will be accompanied by clear and concrete steps to address urgent and ongoing human rights issues.”