Forces from both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan committed apparent war crimes in attacks on civilians during their brief but intense armed border conflict in September 2022. The families of victims deserve justice and reparations to pave the way for a rights-respecting resolution to this ongoing dispute.

Collage of four equally sized images. Top left image of a burnt Tajik ambulance. Top right image damaged house with a window and two doors. Bottom left image of a man on a bicycle looking at a damaged house. Bottom right image of a burned-out car


  • Experiences of Children Repatriated from Camps for ISIS Suspects and Their Families in Northeast Syria

    The 63-page report, “‘My Son is Just Another Kid’: Experiences of Children Repatriated from Camps for ISIS Suspects and Their Families in Northeast Syria,” documents the experiences of approximately 100 children who have been repatriated or returned to France, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan between 2019 and 2022. Human Rights Watch found that despite years of detention in life-threatening conditions with insufficient water, fresh food, and health care, and little to no access to education, many of the children appear to be adjusting well and performing well in school. Many have reintegrated smoothly and enjoy a wide range of activities with their peers, including football, skating, cycling, dancing, crafts, and music.

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  • Abuses against Children Suspected of ISIS Affiliation in Iraq

    This report shows that Iraqi and KRG authorities often arrest and prosecute children with any perceived connection to ISIS, use torture to coerce confessions, and sentence them to prison in hasty and unfair trials. International law recognizes children recruited by armed groups primarily as victims who should be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.  

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  • Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in South Sudan

    This 65-page report names more than 15 commanders and officials from both the government Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the rebel SPLA-in Opposition, and their allies who have used child soldiers. The report is based on interviews with 101 child soldiers who were either forcibly recruited or joined forces to protect themselves and their communities. They said they lived for months without enough food, far away from family, and were thrown into terrifying gun battles in which they were injured and saw friends killed. Children also expressed deep regret that they had lost time they should have spent in school.

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  • Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Groups in Syria

    The 31-page report documents the experiences of 25 children and former child soldiers in Syria’s armed conflict. Human Rights Watch interviewed children who fought with the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front coalition, and the extremist groups ISIS and Jabaht al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, as well as the military and police forces in Kurdish-controlled areas.
  • Abuses in PYD-run Enclaves of Syria

    The 106-page report documents arbitrary arrests of the PYD’s political opponents, abuse in detention, and unsolved abductions and murders. It also documents the use of children in the PYD’s police force and armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

  • Military Use of Schools in Yemen’s Capital

    This 46-page report details the occupation of schools by government security forces, militias, and opposition armed groups, risking the lives and education of tens of thousands of students. Forces on both sides used schools as barracks, bases, surveillance posts, and firing positions.

  • Child Recruitment, Forced Marriage, and Attacks on Schools in Somalia

    This 104-page report details unlawful recruitment and other laws-of-war violations against children by all parties to the conflict in Somalia since 2010. The report is based on over 164 interviews with Somali children, including 21 who had escaped from al-Shabaab forces, as well as parents and teachers who had fled to Kenya.

  • Children and the Chhattisgarh Conflict

    This 58-page Human Rights Watch report updates information on the use of children by all parties to the conflict, the harm they have suffered, and the adverse impact of the conflict on children’s education.
  • Summary

    The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers was formed in May 1998 by leading nongovernmental organizations to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, both boys and girls, to secure their demobilization, and to promote their reintegration into their communities.
  • <table cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0"><tr><td><img src="; align="left" border="0" /></td> <td valign="top">This 86-page report details crimes against civilians by Congolese army soldiers, troops of renegade general Laurent Nkunda, and combatants of a Rwandan opposition force called the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).The report docum</td></tr></table>

  • Child Soldiers in the Chad Conflict

    This 46-page report documents how the Chadian army, its allied paramilitary militias and rebel forces have used and recruited child soldiers in both northern Chad and along the eastern border with Sudan’s Darfur region.
  • A Teenager Imprisoned at Guantanamo

    In this backgrounder, Human Rights Watch said that although Khadr was just 15 when he was arrested, the United States has completely ignored his juvenile status throughout his detention. The US government incarcerated him with adults, reportedly subjected him to abusive interrogations, failed to provide him any educational opportunities, and denied him any direct contact with his family.
  • The Maoists’ Use of Child Soldiers in Nepal

    This 72-page report describes how the Maoists in Nepal have continued using child soldiers, and even recruited more children, despite signing a Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the Nepali government on November 21. The peace agreement commits both sides to stop recruiting child soldiers.
  • State Collusion in Abductions and Child Recruitment by the Karuna Group

    In this 100-page report, Human Rights Watch documents a pattern of abductions and forced recruitment by the Karuna group in Sri Lanka over the past year. With case studies, maps and photographs, it shows how Karuna cadres operate with impunity in government-controlled areas, abducting boys and young men, training them in camps, and deploying them for combat.
  • Militia Attacks and Ethnic Targeting of Civilians in Eastern Chad

    This 70-page report documents a drastic deterioration in the human rights situation in eastern Chad, where more than 300 civilians were killed and at least 17,000 people displaced in militia violence in November 2006 alone. In most instances, civilians were targeted on the basis of ethnic identity.