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In welcome news, the Aotearoa New Zealand government has announced it will push for the adoption of new international law to prohibit and limit autonomous weapons systems. The policy commits New Zealand to play “a leadership role in building an…
The Broken Chair, a statue in support of the bans on landmines and cluster munitions, stands outside the United Nations in Geneva.
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The Taliban’s cruelties are horrendous, but withholding international support and maintaining blanket sanctions will only hurt the long-suffering Afghan people.

Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation is spiraling into catastrophe. Millions of Afghans are now facing severe economic stress and food insecurity in the wake of the Taliban’s August takeover, set off by widespread lost income, cash shortages,…
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The US government’s decision to “re-engage” with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that US President Joe Biden has promised. Yet key details remain to be worked out.…
The 36th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
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The United States government's decision to "reengage" with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that President Joe Biden promised in his major foreign policy speech.…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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Diplomats at the United Nations Human Rights Council don’t expect someone allegedly associated with a death squad to be among their colleagues. Yet that is the situation confronting officials in Geneva since Sri Lanka’s new permanent…
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Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
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The world’s public development banks, focused on alleviating poverty, will gather this week during the Paris Peace Forum to discuss their collective responses to global challenges like climate change and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. This…
Residents of Mindonga settlement on the banks of the stream of effluents released by the PHC palm oil mill, a company supported by European public development banks. February 2, 2019, Yaligimba, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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Removing human control from the use of force is a grave threat to humanity that deserves urgent multilateral action

When the international debate over fully autonomous weapons began in 2013, a common question was whether robots or machines would perform better than humans. Could providing more autonomy in weapons systems result in greater accuracy and precision? Could…
Killer robots
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Last year in Geneva, Iceland put the Philippines in the hot seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council for its murderous “war on drugs.” The boldness of a small country with no axe to grind against the Philippine government – acting solely…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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Human Rights Watch has documented a steady deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in Libya since the beginning of 2019. Insufficient domestic and international efforts to ensure a measure of accountability for past and ongoing…
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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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It would be easy to give up on the United Nations Human Rights Council, as the Trump administration has done. Based in Geneva, the council is supposed to be a beacon for the world, a place where victims of human rights violations can look for abusive…
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza Montserrat listens during the opening of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on September 11, 2017.
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The corrupt and oppressive government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela has detained and tortured political opponents, shot demonstrators, and left the country so economically devastated that more than 4 million people—some 10 percent of…
The Exiles: A Trip to the Border Highlights Venezuela’s Devastating Humanitarian Crisis
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The scars ran deep. His back was a maze of thick welts, thinner scars and parts that resembled small craters. His wrists and ankles were raw from where he’d been shackled and suspended from a ceiling for hours, and his limbs appeared…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters