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High-Level Pronouncements Marred by Systemic Racism, Abuse of Asylum Seekers

(Washington, DC) – The administration of President Joe Biden has made slow progress protecting human rights in the United States, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. "The Biden administration has made some big-picture…
Hughes Van Ellis (left), a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor and World War II veteran, and Viola Fletcher (second right), oldest living survivor of the massacre, testify about the massacre’s ongoing impact before the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on May 19, 2021.
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State Laws Stoke Bias; Black Trans Women at Greatest Risk

(New York) – Transgender people are at significant risk of violence and harassment in the United States, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 65-page report, “‘I Just Try to Make It Home Safe’: Violence and the Human Rights of…
Framed photos placed on the ground around chalk writing that says "Black trans lives matter #allthetime"
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Reveal How Asylum Seekers at Border Were Short-Changed on Rights

(Washington) – Two years after the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, newly released government records reveal US immigration agencies’ efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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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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US Barriers to Asylum Block Path to Safety

(Washington, DC) – The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have failed to effectively address violence and entrenched discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, leading many to seek asylum in the…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Requires Attorney Consultation on Rights

(Sacramento) – A new California law will protect children in police custody, Human Rights Watch said today. The measure, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30, 2020, will make sure youth talk with an attorney while deciding whether to waive…
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Known releases approximately 5% of global prison population

(New York) – Governments are releasing from jails and prisons far too few people whose continued detention in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic is not justified, Human Rights Watch said today, based on a global media survey. Available…
Inmates sitting in an overcrowded jail in Manila, Philippines, February 2019.
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Unalienable Rights Panel Shouldn’t Rewrite International Law

The United States State Department should reject any attempt by its Commission on Unalienable Rights to rewrite international law by rejecting internationally recognized rights for all, Human Rights Watch said today. In a …
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, unveils the creation of Commission on "Unalienable" Rights, headed by Mary Ann Glendon, left, a Harvard Law School professor and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, during an announcement at the US State Dep
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Migrants, Refugees, People of Color, Women Face Greatest Harms

(Washington, DC, January 15, 2020) – The Trump administration is cruelly punishing migrants and eviscerating the right to seek asylum in the United States, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2020. Many state and…
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Gaps in Care Endanger Health, Contribute to Epidemic

(Miami) – Florida fails to deliver basic HIV services to many transgender women, endangering their health and contributing to an uncontrolled HIV epidemic in the state, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Florida and federal HIV…
Rajee Narinesingh, a transgender human rights advocate, in Miami, Florida, October 2018.
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First State to Condemn Unnecessary Surgery on Intersex Children

  (Los Angeles) – California’s legislature passed a resolution on August 28, 2018 that supports the autonomy of intersex people and their right to decide about cosmetic surgical alteration. Senate Concurrent Resolution 110 (…
Senator Scott Wiener, who introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 110, testifying before the California Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1, 2018.
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Strip Anti-LGBT Amendment from Funding Package

(New York) – Child welfare agencies in the United States could be allowed to discriminate under a recent amendment to legislation pending before Congress. The amendment would also threaten the rights of children in care, Human Rights…
Child welfare agencies could be allowed to discriminate under a recent amendment to legislation pending before Congress that would threaten the rights of children in care.
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Trump Administration Set to Erode Existing Protections

The Trump administration is considering regulatory changes that would worsen barriers many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the United States face in obtaining health care, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Dr. Brittany Brooks meets with a patient at Open Arms Healthcare Center, a clinic in Jackson, MS, that focuses on alleviating healthcare disparities for underserved populations, with a particular focus on LGBT people.
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Trump Nominee Supported Torture, Demeaned Muslims, Women, LGBT People

(Washington, DC) The US Senate should oppose the nomination of Michael Pompeo to be Secretary of State. His past support for torture and other positions would undermine the role, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Senate leadership and…
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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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‘License to Discriminate’ Bills Imperil Access to Services

(New York, February 19, 2018) – The rash of new “religious exemption” laws passed by state legislatures around the United States represent a thinly-veiled assault against the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)…
In response to the state’s “license to discriminate” bill, Steve Long displays a sticker welcoming LGBT customers to his restaurant in Jackson, MS, on October 2, 2017.
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Unnamed US Detainee Held 2 Months in Iraq

(Washington, DC) – The US government has been holding a US citizen suspected of fighting with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) for two months in an undisclosed military prison in Iraq without access to legal counsel, Human Rights…
The American flag flies next to a statue of the scales of justice at United States Court House, February 6, 2002.
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Medical Associations Advise Delay on Non-Emergency Surgery

(New York, November 8, 2017) – A new position statement by the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology represents a significant step toward ending medically unnecessary surgery on intersex children who are too young to…
Turks Head Surgery Center, where urologist Dr. Ilene Wong spoke to Human Rights Watch about shortcomings in providing care to patients with differences in sex development (DSD) and their families.
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Professional Groups Should Stand Against Unnecessary Surgery

(New York) – Medical professional associations should enact standards of care for intersex children that rule out medically unnecessary surgery before patients are old enough to consent, Human Rights Watch and interACT said in a report released…
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