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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 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…
201910mena_libya_reliefservices
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Questions and Answers

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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  In March 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council established the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar to “establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security…
A group of Rohingya refugees cross a canal after travelling over the Bangladesh-Burma border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 1, 2017.
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Questions and Answers

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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Since August 25, 2017, when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a militant group, attacked about 30 police outposts and a military camp in northern Rakhine State, Burmese security forces have carried out mass arson, killings, rape, and looting,…
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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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On March 24, 2017, the UN Human Rights Council authorized a three-member Fact-Finding Mission to Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi, who leads the country’s civilian government as state counsellor and also serves as foreign minister, has stated that the UN’s…
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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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A Focus on Accountability

Why is accountability necessary for victims of abuses in North Korea? In 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea found that crimes against humanity, including extermination,…
NK HRC 3_10_15
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  CONTEXT Individuals with disabilities are often assumed to be at lower risk, and thus face lower of HIV infection rates, than their non-disabled peers. They are believed to be asexual, less likely to use drugs or alcohol, and at a lower risk of…
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Thematic Briefings

In many countries around the world, drug control efforts result in serious human rights abuses: torture and ill treatment by police, mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, denial of essential medicines and basic health services…
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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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Policies that restrict the opportunity of a prisoner to work, to earn "good time" or other credit toward release keep people in prison longer, and thus make little sense, particularly in difficult economic times. In Alabama, incarceration costs an average…
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Human Rights Watch has reported on a wide range of abuses against patients and individuals under medical supervision - in medical facilities, juvenile detention centers, orphanages, drug treatment centers, and social rehabilitation centers. Often in these…
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Below is a compilation of important, international jurisprudence rendered from 1986 - 2009 regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. European Court  | Inter-American System  |  United Nations  |  National Courts European Court 2009…
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As of May 18, 2009, 40 countries have officially reported 8,829 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection. Sixty-eight deaths have been reported in Mexico, four in the United States, one in Canada and one in Costa Rica from the new flu strain. Fears about…