Reports

Abuses and Impunity in Turkish-Occupied Northern Syria

The 74-page report, “Everything is by the Power of the Weapon: Abuses and Impunity in Turkish-Occupied Northern Syria,” documents abductions, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, sexual violence, and torture by the various factions of a loose coalition of armed groups, the Türkiye-backed Syrian National Army (SNA), as well as the Military Police, a force established by the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) and Turkish authorities in 2018, ostensibly to curb abuses. Human Rights Watch also found that Turkish Armed Forces and intelligence agencies were involved in carrying out and overseeing abuses. Human Rights Watch also documented violations of housing, land, and property rights, including widespread looting and pillaging as well as property seizures and extortion, and the failure of attempted accountability measures to curb abuses or to provide restitution to victims.
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  • February 28, 2024

    Violations of Chong Indigenous People’s Rights in Cambodia’s Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project

    The 118-page report, “Carbon Offsetting’s Casualties: Violations of Chong Indigenous People’s Rights in Cambodia’s Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project,” concerns a project carried out by the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and the conservation group Wildlife Alliance, that encompasses half a million hectares in the Cardamom mountains, a rainforest area that has been home to the indigenous Chong people for centuries. The project operated for more than two years without consulting the local Chong people on the project, who face forced evictions and criminal charges for farming and foraging in their traditional territories.

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  • February 22, 2024

    A Global Look at How Governments Repress Nationals Abroad

    The 46-page report, “‘We Will Find You’: A Global Look at How Governments Repress Nationals Abroad,” is a rights-centered analysis of how governments are targeting dissidents, activists, political opponents, and others living abroad. Human Rights Watch examined killings, removals, abductions and enforced disappearances, collective punishment of relatives, abuse of consular services, and digital attacks. The report also highlights governments’ targeting of women fleeing abuse, and government misuse of Interpol.

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  • February 15, 2024

    Human Rights Violations in Nepal’s Legal Gender Recognition Practices

    The 67-page report, “‘We Have to Beg So Many People’: Human Rights Violations in Nepal’s Legal Gender Recognition Practices,” documents the significant policy gaps that remain in the implementation of Nepal’s legal recognition for transgender people, despite global recognition of Nepal’s progress. Nepal’s pioneering recognition of a third gender “other” category based on self-identification garnered widespread praise and made Nepal an important touchpoint for the rights of sexual and gender minorities. But Nepal has no explicit legal option to change a gender marker to “male” or “female,” and even the procedure for the third gender option is unclear and ad hoc. Interactions between transgender people and the state have become particularly fraught with discriminatory, ill-informed, and requirements for harmful medical practices.

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  • February 13, 2024

    Pregnant Girls’ and Adolescent Mothers’ Struggles to Stay in School in Mozambique

    The 52-page report, “‘Girls Shouldn’t Give Up On Their Studies’: Pregnant Girls’ and Adolescent Mothers’ Struggle to Stay in School in Mozambique,” documents numerous barriers faced by adolescent girls and women who are pregnant or parenting, and the problems they face when trying to stay in school. Students also lack or are denied access to sexual and reproductive health information, especially comprehensive sexuality education, as well as adolescent-responsive sexual and reproductive health services, including a wide range of contraceptive options and safe, legal abortion to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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  • February 13, 2024

    The Systematic Undermining of Media Freedom in Hungary

    The 29-page report, “‘I Can’t Do My Job as a Journalist’: The Systematic Undermining of Media Freedom in Hungary”, documents the increased obstacles and constraints independent journalists and media face under the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

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  • February 12, 2024

    Afghanistan’s Healthcare Crisis

    The 38-page report, “‘A Disaster for the Foreseeable Future’: Afghanistan’s Healthcare Crisis,” describes how the collapse of Afghanistan’s economy after the Taliban takeover in August 2021 inflicted severe harm on the country’s healthcare infrastructure. Donors’ decisions to reduce humanitarian aid have further weakened health care access, destabilized the economy, and worsened food insecurity. The Taliban’s abusive policies and practices have greatly exacerbated the crisis. Bans on education for women and girls have blocked most training for future female healthcare workers, ensuring shortages for the foreseeable future.

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  • February 1, 2024

    Car Companies’ Complicity in Forced Labor in China

    The 99-page report, “Asleep at the Wheel: Car Companies’ Complicity in Forced Labor in China,” finds that some carmakers have succumbed to Chinese government pressure to apply weaker human rights and responsible sourcing standards at their Chinese joint ventures than in their global operations, increasing the risk of exposure to forced labor in Xinjiang. Most have done too little to map their aluminum supply chains and identify links to forced labor.

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  • January 30, 2024

    Housing, Health, and Education for Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Marseille

    The 70-page report, “‘Not the France I Imagined’: Housing, Health, and Education for Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Marseille,” finds that Marseille’s child protection authorities are leaving children with health needs on the street without treatment, psychosocial support, or follow-up care. Half of unaccompanied migrant children who face an age assessment in Marseille are denied formal recognition as a child, yet those decisions are overturned for nearly 75 percent of those who file an appeal. Review by the courts can take months or even years, leaving children ineligible for emergency accommodation and services such as legal assistance, the appointment of a guardian, universal health protection, and education.

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  • January 25, 2024

    The Fight for Life in a Louisiana Fossil Fuel Sacrifice Zone

    The 98-page report, “‘We’re Dying Here’: The Fight for Life in a Louisiana Fossil Fuel Sacrifice Zone,” documents how residents of Cancer Alley suffer the effects of extreme pollution from the fossil fuel and petrochemical industry, facing elevated rates and risks of maternal, reproductive, and newborn health harms, cancer, and respiratory ailments. Parts of Cancer Alley have the highest risk of cancer from industrial air pollution in the United States. These harms are disproportionately borne by the area’s Black residents.
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  • December 21, 2023

    Systemic Censorship of Palestine Content on Instagram and Facebook

    The 51-page report, “Meta’s Broken Promises: Systemic Censorship of Palestine Content on Instagram and Facebook,” documents a pattern of undue removal and suppression of protected speech including peaceful expression in support of Palestine and public debate about Palestinian human rights. Human Rights Watch found that the problem stems from flawed Meta policies and their inconsistent and erroneous implementation, overreliance on automated tools to moderate content, and undue government influence over content removals.

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  • December 14, 2023

    Domestic Violence Against and Neglect of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

    The 63-page report, “‘Abused by Relatives, Ignored by the State’: Domestic Violence against and Neglect of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Kyrgyzstan,” documents how violence by family members or partners often goes unreported and unaddressed due to widespread discrimination against people with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan, especially women and girls. Families often perceive their existence as shameful and hide them from society. Law enforcement and judicial bodies often ignore or downplay reported cases, and a shortage of shelters and other services for survivors of domestic violence who have disabilities makes it harder for them to escape abuse.

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  • December 11, 2023

    Houthi and Yemeni Government Violations of the Right to Water in Taizz

    The 45-page report, “‘Death is More Merciful Than This Life’: Houthi and Yemeni Government Violations of the Right to Water in Taizz,” found that parties to the conflict in Yemen have significantly exacerbated the area’s water crisis. The Houthis have weaponized water in Taizz by blocking water from flowing into Yemeni government-controlled Taizz city, while Yemeni government-affiliated military forces have previously sold public water supplies to residents for their own profit.

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  • December 6, 2023

    The Taliban’s Impact on Boys’ Education in Afghanistan

    The 19-page report, “‘Schools are Failing Boys Too’: The Taliban’s Impact on Boys’ Education in Afghanistan,” documents Taliban policies and practices since they took over the country in August 2021 that are jeopardizing education for Afghan boys. This includes the dismissal of female teachers, increased use of corporal punishment, and regressive changes to the curriculum. While the Taliban’s bans on secondary and higher education for girls and women have grabbed global headlines, the serious harm done to the education system for boys has gained less notice.
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  • December 4, 2023

    UAE Fossil Fuels Feed Toxic Pollution

    The 24-page report, “‘You Can Smell Petrol in the Air’: UAE Fossil Fuels Feed Toxic Pollution” documents alarmingly high air pollution levels in the UAE, which create major health risks for its citizens and residents and contribute to the global climate crisis. The UAE is one of the world’s largest oil producers and home to seven so-called “carbon bombs,” the world’s largest fossil fuel production projects. Air pollution and climate change are directly linked, as the burning of fossil fuels contributes to air pollution and drives climate change.

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