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Around the globe, Human Rights Watch has documented the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. Today, child soldiers are fighting in at least 14 countries: Afghanistan – Insurgent groups, including the Taliban and other armed groups, use…
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Amicus Curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court

Human Rights Watch and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an amicus brief in the case of Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd before the Supreme Court. The case challenges the US government's misuse of the material witness statute to investigate…
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SummaryBackgroundAnalysis of the Draft Anti-Terrorism Legislation     Defining Terrorism     Infringement of Freedoms of Speech and Expression     Expansion of Police Powers without Due Process Guarantees         Powers of Arrest, Search, and Seizure…
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As a candidate, Barack Obama signaled his clear intention to break with the Bush administration's abusive counterterrorism policies. Once sworn in as president, Obama immediately issued executive orders that set a course toward reform. Human Rights…
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Strengthening the Security Council’s Response to Sexual Violence and Attacks on Education in Armed Conflict

For a full decade, the UN Security Council has addressed the severe abuses that children experience in armed conflict. Its response has included a series of six resolutions (1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539, and 1612), the creation of a specialized working…
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Help us achieve universal ratification of the child soldiers treaty by writing the ambassadors for key countries. Although there are no exact figures, hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 18 serve in government forces or armed rebel…
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Argument to the Supreme Court of Argentina on International Standards on Juvenile Detention

Human Rights Watch filed an amicus brief in the case of García Méndez, Emilio and Musa, Laura Cristina s/case No. 7537 that is now before the Supreme Court of Argentina. We argue that the system by which Argentine judges authorize the detention of…
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Supreme Court of the United States, January 6, 2006

The detention and military commission systems created by the Executive to hold and try persons seized in the “war on terror” and implemented at the United States Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (“Guantánamo”) violate the well-established norms of…
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List of Detainees Published by Human Rights Watch

The following is a list of persons believed to be in U.S. custody as "ghost detainees" -- detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel, and who are likely not reported to or seen by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The…
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Latin America is home to some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. While only three countries—Chile, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic—provide no exceptions or extenuating circumstances for the criminal sanctions on abortion, in most…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective    The Commission on Human Rights should strengthen its monitoring of the abduction and military recruitment of children in armed conflict, and request the personal intervention of the Secretary-General in particularly egregious situations…
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A Briefing Paper to the U.N. Security Council

Liberia: Upsurge in Fighting and Humanitarian CrisisCôte d'Ivoire: On the PrecipiceGuineaSierra Leone    The Sierra Leone Special CourtProtection of Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and ECOWAS NationalsChild SoldiersUse of Proxy Forces and Support…
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Since the collapse of the corrupt Fujimori government in November 2000 the human rights situation in Peru has improved significantly. During Fujimori's last term in office (1995-2000), Vladimiro Montesinos, the de facto head of the National Intelligence…