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Withhold Votes for Serious Rights Violators Cameroon, Eritrea, UAE

(New York) – A noncompetitive United Nations election for Human Rights Council members virtually guarantees seats for candidate countries with abysmal rights records. UN member countries should refrain from voting for Cameroon, Eritrea, United Arab…
UN General Assembly Hall
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Russia Should Allow Full Year of UN-Led Aid Delivery from Turkey, Iraq

(New York) – Russia should not block the United Nations Security Council from reauthorizing and expanding cross-border humanitarian aid operations across northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. Millions of people in northeast and northwest…
UN humanitarian aid trucks enter northwest Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on June 1, 2021
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Set Principled Framework for Aid, Protection, Justice

(Brussels) – The European Union-United Nations sponsored aid conference for Syria on March 29-30, 2021, should prioritize a rights-respecting aid framework that advances urgent protection, humanitarian, and accountability needs, Human Rights Watch…
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Existing Framework can Strengthen Rights Protections if Operationalized

(Beirut) – United Nations agencies should activate the UN’s human rights framework for Syria in their aid plans, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the agencies that developed the principles. Major donors should support this effort at their…
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General Assembly Members Should Not Vote for China, Saudi Arabia

(New York) – United Nations member countries should not vote for China and Saudi Arabia, two of the world’s most abusive governments, for seats on the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said today. Russia’s numerous war crimes in Syria’s…
A view of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, October 1, 2018.
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Human Rights Council Seat Demands Greater Leadership

(Sydney) – The Australian government should make the protection of human rights a central focus of its foreign policy, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the recently reappointed Foreign Minister Marise Payne that was released today. …
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Competition-Free Slates Undermine Body’s Credibility, Effectiveness

(New York) – United Nations member countries should oppose the candidacies of the Philippines and Eritrea for the Human Rights Council because of their egregious human rights records, Human Rights Watch said today. Serious rights violations in Bahrain and…
HRC headquarters
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Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
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Countries Should Set Way to Identify Users of Banned Weapon

(New York) – Governments should strengthen the tools to reverse the unprecedented threat to the global ban on chemical weapons, a coalition of 21 human rights and humanitarian groups said today. The continuing unattributed use of…
An activist wears a gas mask in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, where Syrian government forces have allegedly used chemical weapons, August 22, 2013. © 2013 REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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Expulsions by Municipalities Appear Discriminatory, Lack Due Process

  (Beirut) – At least 13 municipalities in Lebanon have forcibly evicted at least 3,664 Syrian refugees from their homes and expelled them from the municipalities, apparently because of their nationality or religion, while another 42,000…
A clothesline in an informal tent settlement in Bar Elias, Bekaa Governorate, Lebanon. Refugees evicted from the Rayak air base area settled here in January 2018. The refugees say there was no procedure, no written notice, no opportunity to discuss or cha
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Establish Investigative Body on Chemical Weapons Attacks

*This news release has been updated to reflect two additional signatories, bringing the final number to 47. (New York) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres should urgently appoint a team of investigators to identify those…
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S, April 13.
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International Action for Deterrence, Justice Ineffective

  (Beirut) – International efforts to deter chemical attacks in Syria in the year since the devastating sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017, have been ineffective, Human Rights Watch…
A civil defense member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.
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UN Should Immediately Deploy Monitors to Prevent Reprisal Executions

(Beirut) – With Russia’s continued support, the Syrian government is using unlawful tactics in its assault on Eastern Ghouta, including what appears to be the use of internationally banned weapons, Human Rights Watch said today. There…
People walk with their belongings as they flee the rebel-held town of Hammouriyeh, in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta, Syria March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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UN-Appointed Inquiry Blames Government for Khan Sheikhoun Attack

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council and Chemical Weapons Convention member countries should take strong measures to ensure accountability after a UN-appointed inquiry found the Syrian government responsible for an April…
A poison hazard danger sign is seen in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, Syria on April 5, 2017.
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Security Council to Decide on Chemical Weapons Inquiry Renewal

(New York) – Russia should not block the extension of the inquiry into who is responsible for chemical weapons use in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The mandate for the inquiry, called the Joint…
Russia's deputy UN envoy, Vladimir Safronkov delivers remarks during the Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York, US. April 7, 2017.
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Create Independent Body to Investigate Missing Persons

(Beirut, August 30, 2017) – International backers of negotiations to end the conflict in Syria should ensure that any transitional process includes a robust independent body to investigate thousands of “disappeared,” Human Rights…
A mother shows a picture of her son, who was detained by authorities in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, Syria, March 20, 2016. She has not heard any news about her son since then.
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Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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UN Security Council Vote Expected

(New York) – Russia and other United Nations Security Council members should support a proposed resolution that would impose sanctions on Syrian government officials responsible for chemical attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. The Security Council is…
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