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Ten Points to Celebrate from 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for children around the world. Earlier this month, UNICEF reported that the pandemic has plunged 100 million more children into poverty and rolled back virtually every measure of progress. This grim…
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, demonstrates with others in front of the Standard and Chartered Bank during a climate protest in London, England, October 29, 2021
News

Satellite Imagery, Thermal Anomalies Data Show Numerous Burnings

Since October 29, numerous fires have severely damaged Thantlang, a remote town in Myanmar’s northwestern Chin State. The evidence from space is undeniable: residential homes, places of worship, commercial buildings, and more have been reduced to ash…
A screenshot of accumulated fire detections
News

Others Remain in Prison Under Abusive Justice System

Nearly ten years after Ali al-Nimr was arrested by Saudi authorities in February 2012, he was finally released from prison this week. His mother tweeted a video showing their emotional reunion. But amid the relief and celebration, al-Nimr’s ordeal…
Ali al-Nimr was one of at least three Saudi men on death row for protest-related crimes committed when they were children.
News

Challenge Chokehold on Desperately Needed Humanitarian Aid, Call for Independent Inquiry

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to consider its response to yesterday’s decision by Ethiopia’s federal government to declare seven senior UN officials as “persona non grata,” unwelcome in the country. The…
An organizer asks displaced Tigrayans to queue as they wait to receive food at a school in Mekele, in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, May 5, 2021.
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International Community Needs to Increase Efforts to Help Afghans at Risk

A set of bombing attacks at the southeast gate of Kabul’s international airport on Thursday killed over 60 Afghans and at least 12 US soldiers, and wounded many more. The airport’s gates have reportedly now been closed, apparently bringing an end to…
Smoke rises from an explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.
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August 31 Departure Leaves Many Fearing Persecution Behind

Thousands of Afghans fearing persecution by the Taliban remain waiting outside Kabul’s airport, or sheltering in their homes, hoping be evacuated out of Afghanistan. But the United States-led multinational airlift is about to wrap up.…
People inside an aircraft line up to disembark
News

Twenty Rights Groups Call for Justice and Accountability

Human Rights Watch today joined Afghan and international human rights organizations calling for a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission to investigate escalating attacks on civilians in Afghanistan to promote justice and accountability.…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
News

Biden’s U-Turn on Pledge Heightens Risks to Civilians in Yemen, Libya

United States President Joe Biden called in early February for “ending all American support for offensive operations in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.” At the time, I, like many human rights advocates who have been documenting abuses committed…
Southern Transitional Council forces backed by the United Arab Emirates prepare to storm the presidential palace in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen on August 9, 2019.
News

Stop Using Vague Law to Silence Criticism of Prime Minister

Displaying absolute intolerance for peaceful criticism, Bangladesh authorities have arrested hundreds of people, including journalists, for criticizing or satirizing the country’s ruling party and its leaders. Even children have not been spared for…
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meets with officials in Tokyo, May 29, 2019.
News

Internet, Mobile Shutdowns Violate Rights, Hinder Access to Information

Streets throughout Myanmar were stained again on Sunday with the blood of dozens of protesters gunned down by government security forces. Local media reports indicate it was the deadliest day since the February 1 coup, with many of the killings taking…
Protesters surround an injured man in Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon, Myanmar, March 14, 2021.
News

Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
News

Governments Around the World Using Pandemic as Cover for Crackdowns

At least 99 protesters killed and injured in Uganda and 132 arrested in Russia. Nine medics detained and charged in Egypt for “spreading fake news,” “misusing social media,” and “joining an unlawful organization.” In China, 17,000 people investigated…
Police officers block a road in Russia’s capital
News

Urgent Need for More Reform to Prevent Future Abuses

Saudi Arabia has commuted the death sentence imposed on Ali Mohammed al-Nimr for participating in protests when he was a child. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman also announced the government would finally establish a criminal code that will “…
Ali al-Nimr was one of at least three Saudi men on death row for protest-related crimes committed when they were children.
News

Stop and Punish Abuse, Provide Accommodation

On Monday night, I felt shame and disgust as I watched videos of law enforcement officers from my own country violently removing people from their tents in Paris’ Place de la République, confiscating makeshift shelters and sleeping bags, and violently…
500 tents to shelter migrants were set up on Place de la République in Paris on November 23, 2020, before being violently dismantled by police forces
News

Migrant Workers Face Abuse and Exploitation

There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and…
Trapped in Employer's home
News

Port Explosion Led to Increased Homelessness of Workers Abandoned by Employers

More than a month since the devastating port explosion in Beirut, the situation for many of the estimated 250,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon has gone from dire to catastrophic. The explosion happened amidst an economic crisis that worsened…
An Ethiopian domestic worker waits in front of the Ethiopian consulate after she and others were abandoned by their Lebanese employers, in Hazmieh, east of Beirut, Lebanon, June 4, 2020.
News

Refugees Now Sleeping on the Streets Need Protection and Assistance

Fires that consumed Europe’s largest refugee camp, Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos earlier this week have left nearly 13,000 men, women, and children without shelter or access to basic services.  Prior to the fires, security in the…
Moria camp on Lesbos island following a fire that started on the evening of September 8, 2020, destroying most of the camp and leaving 12,000 asylum seekers and refugees without shelter.
News

Government Should End All Executions, Protect Children from Abuse

On August 26, the Saudi Human Rights Commission announced the judiciary would review three death sentences in accordance with a recent decree to halt capital punishment for child offenders. Ali al-Nimr, Dawoud al-Marhoun, and Abdullah al-Zaher were…
Ali al-Nimr was one of at least three Saudi men on death row for protest-related crimes committed when they were children.
News

Companies’ Respect for Rights at Particular Risk During Covid-19

This would have been the week: The German government had put the planned Supply Chain Act on its cabinet meeting agenda. If passed, the law would require companies to ensure that the rights of workers and communities in their supply chains are…
Workers sew clothes in a garments factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 25, 2020.