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New Resolution Forms Expert Group to Probe Racism in Policing

The United Nations Human Rights Council recently adopted a milestone UN resolution to create an independent mechanism, made up of three experts, to investigate the root causes of systemic racism and police violence. Brought forward by the Group of…
Demonstrators kneel outside the Long Beach Police Department in Long Beach, California during a protest on May 31, 2020. 
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Written Testimony of Dreisen Heath Submitted to the US House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties

On behalf of Human Rights Watch, I thank Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Jordan of the US House Committee on the Judiciary and Chairman Cohen and Ranking Member Johnson of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, for the…
A view of the Capitol Building in Washington October 15, 2013.
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The 21st Century Movement for Repair

The first government proposal to repair the damage of US slavery was Special Field Order No. 15 from civil war general William T. Sherman. The wartime order from Sherman, who led Union soldiers, allotted 40 acres of land to some newly freed Black families…
A sculpture of African slaves by Ghanaian artist, Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, at the beginning of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. 
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Hospital is First Institution to Make This Change and Apologize for Harm Done

In a victory for intersex people, a hospital in Chicago pledged earlier this year to stop performing medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex traits. The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital also became the first…
Intersex activist Sean Saifa Wall protests outside Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago for Intersex Awareness Day on October 26, 2017.
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‘It Was Just Innocent People Getting Hurt’

As Chantel Johnson made her way through her South Bronx neighborhood to meet up with protesters, one thought kept nagging her: Why the heavy police presence? There were police officers on the street in riot gear. Barricades up in front of the train…
Police push a woman in a green hat against a car and handcuff her
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Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst acts of state-sanctioned violence against Black people in United States history. After years of fighting for justice, massacre survivors and descendants of…
Reverend Robert Turner of the historic Mount Vernon African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, damaged in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
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Unanimous Resolution Brings Scrutiny to Global Violations

The United Nations Human Rights Council is moving against systemic racism and police violence – including in the United States. On June 19, the 47-member council unanimously passed a resolution mandating that the UN high commissioner for human…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

Issues Behind Their Detention Remain

In response to an outcry about the horrific conditions of a US Border Patrol holding station in Clint, Texas, the US Department of Homeland Security announced in June that nearly 250 children would be moved into facilities for children operated by the US…
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Human Rights Official Returns to her Hometown to Help Change its Track Record

Anny Castillo’s job is to help change all of this. Castillo is head of the Tumaco “personeria,” a human rights agency. In Colombia, each municipality has a personeria, an office designed to promote access to public services, address human…
Tumaco, Colombia
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New Law Would Keep 14- and 15-Year-Olds in Juvenile System

More than 1,500 children ages 15 and under have faced adult court sentences in California, including life in prison, since 2003. Children under 16 can be given adult sentences that take no account of their youth and vulnerability. They are…
Why California Should Not Prosecute 14- and 15-year-olds as Adults
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State’s Private Probation System Cost Jason $10,000

A late-night fast-food run led to a nearly 5-year ordeal for Jason DeFriese, a college junior who was stopped for speeding and charged with driving under the influence in March 2013. Jason was put on probation, administered by Private Correction Services…
Logo of Community Probation Services, Inc.
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Officials Ignored Suicide Attempt, Mental Health Concerns

When Tiombe Kimana Carlos committed suicide at 34, she had spent two-and-a-half years in immigration detention at York County Prison in Pennsylvania. And, according to her lawyer, there was no end in sight. This was not her…
Detention
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Women Share Their Experiences, Concerns

After deciding not to push forward with an unpopular and flawed health care bill in March, the US House is considering a new version of the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Yet many women in the US rely on the ACA and on Planned Parenthood,…
Jacquelyn
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Jailed for Weeks Because He Couldn’t Afford Bail

“Daniel Soto” was 18 when, he says, a stranger stabbed him outside of a McDonald’s following an argument – slicing him from his chest to his belly button. When his mom, “Maria Soto,” got the phone call from the hospital the next day, the distressing news…
Women walk along a corridor at the Los Angeles County women's jail.
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At 19, Fraidy Reiss was trapped in an arranged marriage to an abusive husband and couldn’t find her way out. She lived in New York, in an Orthodox Jewish community; as far as her family was concerned, divorce wasn’t an option. Family and friends told her…
Fraidy Reiss at a Chain-In protest in 2015.
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How US Laws Leave Educators Fearful, Students Vulnerable to Bullying

Ellen A. just wanted to be a good teacher. But she felt she couldn’t help all of her students. It was fear that stopped her. Fear of discovery, fear of being fired. It stopped her from being herself day in and day out. Ellen, who is in her 50s…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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This spring, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have prevented transgender students from using restrooms, locker rooms, and showers that match their gender identity. With the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South…
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Liz Luras enlisted in the US Army because she came from a patriotic family – her father served in Vietnam and her grandfather fought in World War II – and to help pay for college. Her family, who lived in Oregon, couldn’t afford a car. To pay for her…
Liz on the day she spoke in front of Congress about rape in the military as part of Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN). Washington D.C. 2013 .
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Julia adopted a baby girl born four months premature in 2008. The baby weighed just 1.5 pounds and had to be resuscitated. Julia and her partner longed to have more time with their baby during the 110 days she spent in the hospital, but had to save their…
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As a little girl, Ruth Riviera (not her real name) loved to step into her dad’s army boots and strut around the house with pride and self-importance. Her dad, a Non-Commission Officer in the US Army, was her childhood hero. She admired…