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Government financial support for fossil fuels, including through subsidies, presents a key obstacle to achieving emissions reductions urgently needed to address the climate crisis. Subsidies artificially reduce the costs of fossil fuel production and…
Pumpjacks at an oil well site near Epping, N.D., Oct. 1, 2018. © 2018 Jim Wilson/The New York Times/GDA via AP Images
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Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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Canada Is Failing Indigenous Peoples Facing Threats to Food, Health, and Land

In some of the most remote stretches of Canada – from the provincial norths to the territories – First Nations are facing serious threats to their ways of life because of the effects of climate change. A rapidly changing environment means harvesting food…
Weenusk First Nations members packing their sleds ahead of a hunt near Peawanuck, Ontario, December 14, 2019.
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The Global Pandemic Offers Chance to Embrace Clean Energy

It’s been three months since governments around the world implemented lockdowns in response to Covid-19. The virus has killed hundreds of thousands and forced millions more into joblessness and destitution. With the global transport of people and goods…
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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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  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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This questions-and-answers document sets out the sanctions regime and other diplomatic measures imposed on North Korea, Human Rights Watch’s position on sanctions, and recommendations for addressing North Korea’s human rights record. It explains how…
A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) in Washignton, DC, U.S. May 17, 2018 and in Panmunjom, South Korea, April 27, 2018 respectively.
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Prisoners with Disabilities Serving Time in Solitary, Face Physical, Sexual Abuse

How is it that 50 percent of Australia’s prison population has a disability? Eighteen percent of Australia’s general population has a disability. The most common type of disabilities found in prisons are mental health conditions. People with…
A prisoner lies in his solitary confinement cell in the safety unit at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, northern Queensland.
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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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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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Even after five years of horror in Syria, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, the extent of atrocities in Aleppo is hitting new highs as Syrian government forces advance on the rebel-held eastern part of the city. Syria’s commercial…
Ruins of a residential house that was struck in an aerial attack, killing at least 24 civilians, on September 27, 2016.
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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,…
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Myth: Syria has stopped all military and policing operations. Reality: At least 49 people have died in operations by Syrian forces since August 17, 2011. On August 17, President Bashar al-Assad claimed in a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-…
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What is this report about? The UN mapping report has been prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and describes the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Democratic…
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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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The expulsion of international aid agencies from Darfur and the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir

On March 4, 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. On March 5 the government of Sudan sought to divert attention from al-Bashir's…