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The U.S. has sent considerable military assistance to Ukraine. That aid needs to be linked to human rights concerns.

When Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has his first meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on August 30, he will be looking for reassurances and commitment from Washington. The U.S. has been a close supporter of Ukraine and has in recent years…
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a press conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, May 22, 2020.
News

The region’s police and security forces need urgent reform. Otherwise, we are likely to continue seeing serious abuses against protesters

Years of frustrated expectations and dissatisfaction with governments’ social policies boiled over in many Latin American countries in 2019, leading to massive protests. This year, the measures taken in response to the pandemic have forced people to…
Police surround a protester in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.
News
The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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The Consequences of Conflict for Displaced People with Disabilities in Eastern Ukraine

"I am grateful for help. But sometimes it’s hard ... The attitude here is: if you want to be left in peace, go back home. But where is home? Everyone who could, who had a place to go, had already left." The ongoing war in eastern Ukraine has divided…
Elena Mikhailovna, 66, and Varya, 11 Sviati Hory, October 2019.
News
  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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The news this week that Ukraine has become the 100th country to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration—a Norwegian initiative to make schools safer even during war—has me thinking about two schools at almost opposite ends of Europe. They…
Damaged school in Nikishine Rebel fighters deployed inside the school between September 2014 and February 2015 and exchanged intense fire with Ukrainian forces.
News

Many from Non-Government-Controlled Areas Face Bureaucracy, Discrimination

On a hot August day, I stood in line at the Migration Service of Ukraine. I had just gotten married and needed to change my last name in my passport. For most Ukrainians, this wouldn’t require significant effort. But I’m registered in…
Older people crossing the broken bridge at the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.
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On March 31, Ukrainians will go to the polls to vote in the country’s second presidential elections since fighting began five years ago between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed armed groups. President Petro Poroshenko will face off against a record 43…
People wait at passport control after crossing the contact line between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops in Mayorsk, Ukraine, February 25, 2019.
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This article was published in five newspapers in Latin America. Leaders in the Americas have often been confronted in recent years with hard questions about accountability and prisoners’ rights. Should people imprisoned for…
Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori listens to the judge's verdict about his sentence in prison, in Lima October 29, 2013.
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
News

As European and Ukrainian leaders gather in Brussels, it's time to highlight the need for further protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Ukraine.

On 9 July, Brussels will host the 20th EU-Ukraine Summit, the annual exercise when Kyiv and the European block highlight their strong bilateral relations. No doubt, the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, and European Union leaders…
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk arrive for a joint news conference following the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev, Ukraine, July 13, 2017.
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In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
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Last month, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile introduced a bill in Congress that appears to be a reaction to the recent release, in Peru, of the former autocratic President Alberto Fujimori. The proposal limits the early release of people convicted of…
News

More than a dozen men disappeared without a trace during Russia's annexation of Crimea. Their families are still waiting for news — and justice

We stopped for petrol on our way to Belogorsk, a small town in Crimea. I was there in October with a colleague, researching human rights issues. Brand new yellow signs inside the petrol station were in Russian, Crimean Tatar and English…
Statue of a Russian soldier in Simferopol, Crimea.
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Ukraine is moving to undo a March 2017 law that imposed an excessive burden on anti-corruption activists to publicly report their income and assets. That's good. But it will instead require NGOs to prepare extensive, onerous public reports…
201709eca_ukraine-poroshenkoeu
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I know my autocrats. After all, I once voted for one. As an 18-year-old college sophomore, I voted for Alberto Fujimori for president of Peru in 1995. By then, Fujimori, a relatively unknown agronomy professor elected in 1990 in a…