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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that an outbreak of the viral disease COVID-19 – first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China – had reached the level of a global pandemic. Citing concerns with “the alarming…
Police patrol near the Arc de Triomphe on the first day of confinement due to COVID-19, Paris, France, March 17, 2020.
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Human Rights Watch has conducted research on sex work around the world, including in Cambodia, China, Tanzania, the United States, and most recently, South Africa. The research, including extensive consultations with sex workers and organizations that…
Sex workers wearing masks lead a march to mark International Sex Workers Rights Day in Johannesburg March 3, 2011
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On May 8, 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s health minister declared an outbreak of Ebola, the highly deadly disease that killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2016. The first cases were reported in the…
World Health Organization (WHO) workers prepare a center for vaccination during the launch of a campaign against an outbreak of Ebola in the port city of Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 21, 2018.
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Honorable Cristina Pardo Schlesinger Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia Rapporteur of Case T-6.612.909   Case: T-6.612.909 Subject: Human Rights Watch amicus curiae brief …
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Naloxone Can Bring Someone Back to Life

The United States is in the midst of a public health crisis.  More than 59,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2016, an increase of nearly 20 percent from the previous year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 91 people die of opioid-related…
Naloxone, a medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose. Massachusetts, US, August 8, 2017. © 2017 Reuters.
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Updated April 2018 Is abortion a human rights issue? States’ obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights includes areas of sexual and reproductive health and autonomy. Where access to safe and legal abortion services…
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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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Amicus Curiae provided to the United States Supreme Court in Schwarzenegger v. Plata

INTRODUCTION This case involves ongoing, undisputed, and lethal constitutional violations in the California state prison system.  As the lower court found, and the State does not dispute, “the medical and mental health care available to inmates in the…
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Omar Khadr, a Canadian national, was 15-years old when he was captured and seriously injured in a firefight in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002. The US has accused Khadr of throwing the grenade that killed US Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer and injured…
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1.     What is female genital mutilation (FGM)? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as "all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs for non-medical…
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Seeks to Exclude Material Support for Terrorism Charge from Military Commission Jurisdiction

Human Rights Watch joins partners in this brief arguing that the charge of material support for terrorism is not a violation of the laws of war and therefore such a charge falls outside the limited jurisdiction of military commissions. The brief further…
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Question: What is Human Rights Watch's assessment   of the State Peace and Development Council's [SPDC's] response to Cyclone Nargis? Answer: The initial response was disgraceful; it is still shocking to me that the military government obstructed the…
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Supreme Court of the United States, January 6, 2006

The detention and military commission systems created by the Executive to hold and try persons seized in the “war on terror” and implemented at the United States Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (“Guantánamo”) violate the well-established norms of…