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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…
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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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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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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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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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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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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…
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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…