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10 Key Issues that Demand the Administration's Immediate Attention

Whoever wins the November 3 presidential election has an opportunity  – and a responsibility – to help the United States move forward by making human rights a priority in the next administration. This includes ending policies that undermine the…
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Discrimination Follows them from Home to the US Border

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, sometimes called the Northern Triangle, often face violence and discrimination from their families, gangs, and even the police. When they try to seek asylum…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18, 2020 leaves a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court and enormous uncertainty over the court’s future role in the protection of fundamental human rights. A nominee for Justice Ginsburg’s…
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On August 19, 2020, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released its draft 2020 Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy. According to the draft, this policy “supersedes and replaces the 2012 Gender Equality and Female…
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S259011 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA O.G. Petitioner, vs. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF VENTURA CO. Respondent; THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Real Party Interest. On Review From The Court Of Appeal, Second…
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(Los Angeles) – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law SB 1391 ensuring that 14- and 15-year-olds accused of crimes will be tried in the juvenile justice system rather than prosecuted as adults. The following quote can be…
Why California Should Not Prosecute 14- and 15-year-olds as Adults
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Why California Should Not Prosecute 14- and 15-year-olds as Adults

Summary and Recommendations After decades of handling youth 15 and younger in its rehabilitation-focused juvenile justice system, in 1995 California discarded its longstanding approach and adopted a new law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds…
Why California Should Not Prosecute 14- and 15-year-olds as Adults
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Aren’t these laws just designed to protect religious freedom in the US? Religious freedom is an important value, but these laws don’t respond to any real-world threat to religious freedom and are more about legitimizing discrimination. The…
Demonstrators protest during oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorodo Civil Rights Commission case at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2017.
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What are some of the misconceptions around being born intersex? Unfortunately, in our society we’re still at a point where most people don’t know the basic facts about being intersex. People think it is very rare, but really, up to two percent of the…
A poster by intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis
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Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

We welcome the first report of the Independent Expert on SOGI-related violence and discrimination. We recognize that some States opposed creation of the mandate, but are encouraged that it was reaffirmed by the General Assembly with support from all UN…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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During its Consideration of the Third to Fifth Periodic Reports of the United States of America CAT 53rd Session

I. Summary   Human Rights Watch would like to express its appreciation to the United Nations Committee against Torture (the “Committee”) for this opportunity to provide information on the compliance of the…
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Submitted before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Human Rights Watch filed an amicus brief in the case of Henry Hill, et al. v. the United States (12.866) that is before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The amicus submission demonstrates in detail how the United States, including the state…
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During its Consideration of the Fourth Periodic Report of the United States

Human Rights Watch submitted this statement in advance of the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s upcoming pre-sessional review of the United States. We hope that the points raised in this submission will inform the Committee’s understanding of the US…
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(New York) – Human Rights Watch joined other human rights groups and health groups in issuing the following statement today following the release of a report about reproductive health by Anand Grover, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health.  …
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Oral Statement at the 16th Session of the Human Rights Council

When the UN Human Rights Council met to adopt the US Universal Periodic Review, HRW Geneva Advocacy Director Julie de Rivero was one of only 10 representatives of non-governmental organizations to make an oral statement. The text of that statement follows…
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Amicus Curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court

Human Rights Watch and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an amicus brief in the case of Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd before the Supreme Court. The case challenges the US government's misuse of the material witness statute to investigate…
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