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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 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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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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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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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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It’s public knowledge that following the 9-11 attacks on the United States, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detained and tortured terrorism suspects in secret sites around the world. But new Human Rights Watch research provides…
CIA detainee torture abuse 2
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The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations on November 20, 1989, establishing global standards to ensure the protection, survival, and development of all children, without discrimination. Countries…
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Following the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush began a campaign of “targeted killings” against suspected members of al Qaeda and other armed groups. It has continued under the administration of President…
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Omar Khadr, a Canadian national, was 15-years old when he was captured and seriously injured in a firefight in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002. The US has accused Khadr of throwing the grenade that killed US Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer and injured…
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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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Introduction After the attacks of September 11, 2001, US officials approved various interrogation methods that were illegal under both US and international law. These included such brutal practices as painful "stress positions," prolonged exposure to…
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The Issue On his second day in office, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order committing to close the US military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010 and authorizing a review by the attorney general of each detainee's status…
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Question: What is Human Rights Watch's assessment   of the State Peace and Development Council's [SPDC's] response to Cyclone Nargis? Answer: The initial response was disgraceful; it is still shocking to me that the military government obstructed the…
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  What are "diplomatic assurances" against torture? Why is the use of diplomatic assurances growing? Why do governments seek these assurances? Do diplomatic assurances work? Have people who were sent back with diplomatic assurances actually been…
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  1. What are the judges in the House of Lords being asked to decide?   A special nine-judge panel of the House of Lords Judicial Committee will convene on October 4 to consider the lawfulness of government powers that allow foreign…
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Last Updated on June 1, 2004 What is torture?What laws prohibit torture?Do non-citizens in the U.S. have the same right not to be tortured as U.S. citizens?Can a person be compelled to provide evidence?Can limited physical force be used during…