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14 Governments Face Possible Military Sanctions

Last week the United States State Department named more countries than ever before – 14 – in its latest annual list of governments responsible for the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. Cameroon, Libya, and Nigeria were added this year,…
Rebel child soldiers gather in Gumuruk, South Sudan.
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Bill Aims to Increase Access to Life-saving Cancer Screenings for Women

Today, California Congressman Jimmy Gomez and Washington Senator Patty Murray will introduce the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019. Named after Jeannette Acosta, a former congressional employee who passed away after…
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State Department Restores Burma and Iraq to its Annual List of Violators

I held my breath yesterday, waiting for the US State Department to issue its latest annual list of governments implicated in the use of child soldiers. Last year’s list was a disaster: then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson overruled his…
Child soldiers put down their guns in a disarmament and release ceremony in Jonglei state, South Sudan, February 10, 2015.
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Baseless Claims Made That Fund Supports Coercive Abortion, Sterilization

While attention has been focused on the tumult around US President Donald Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US officials quietly renewed a decision made last year to block funding for the UN Population Fund – known as…
Syrian women sit in the waiting area to see a female doctor at a maternity clinic run by United Nations Population Fund inside Jordan's Al Zaatari refugee camp, which houses nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees, in Mafraq, Jordan November 22, 2016.
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Rare ‘Dissent Memo’ Says Secretary of State Contravened US Law

When US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson excluded Iraq, Burma, and Afghanistan from the State Department’s list of countries using child soldiers earlier this year, my colleagues and I at Human Rights Watch were angry. It turns out we…
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson holds a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 22, 2017.
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US Again Allows Military Aid to Countries Using Children as Fighters

US President Barack Obama announced yesterday that he will allow several governments that recruit and use child soldiers to continue receiving US military assistance – aid that is supposedly subject to child soldier-related restrictions. The decision wasn…
Child soldiers put down their guns in a disarmament and release ceremony in Jonglei state, South Sudan, February 10, 2015.
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Yesterday the United States State Department released a new snapshot of how governments around the world are doing in ending their use of child soldiers. Its 2015 list names eight governments – Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia,…
Child soldiers with Houthi fighters hold weapons during a demonstration in Sanaa on March 13, 2015.
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Do your thoughts belong to you? Not if you’re one of the five 9/11 defendants facing charges at Guantanamo. But that may have changed with a new ruling at a secret hearing on Monday. Lawyers are still trying to puzzle it out. Of the many…
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On our way to a barbecue dinner where the ceiling fell in, we blew a tire. The two events here at Guantanamo Bay were not related, nor were they exactly big news in a week when a fresh set of hearings is getting underway for the five men…
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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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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…