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Stories from People with Disabilities During Canada’s Extreme Heatwave

When temperatures in British Columbia, Canada, soared to nearly 50 degrees Celsius/122 degrees Fahrenheit this past summer, people with disabilities and older people were left unprotected. Hundreds of older people died. Heatwaves are expected to become…
Camper van at sunset
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New Research on Three Incidents from 2020 Conflict

Three unlawful attacks on medical facilities by Azerbaijani forces during the six-week armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh have come to light in recent Human Rights Watch research in the region. Human Rights Watch documented multiple unlawful…
View from the window of the Martakert military hospital, which was struck by Azerbaijani rocket artillery on October 14, 2020.
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Dominic Ongwen, Kidnapped by the LRA at Age 10, to Face ICC Judgment

After a four-year trial, in February the International Criminal Court will deliver its judgment in the case of Dominic Ongwen, a senior commander of the brutal rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). He is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and…
Dominic Ongwen, a senior commander in the Lord's Resistance Army, sits in the court room of the International Court in The Hague, Netherlands
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People with Disabilities Find Strength Despite Discrimination

“I think I wouldn’t have achieved so much in my life without my disability,” said Doaa Qashlan, a university graduate and disability rights activist living in Gaza. Doaa, who was born with a physical disability and uses a wheelchair or an electric…
Doaa Qashlan speaks to Human Rights Watch during an interview in Gaza, November 18, 2020.
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Wounds Tell the Story of Beatings, Sexual Abuse, Killings

Briones is a neurosurgeon who worked at his private clinic in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, and another one in the northern city of Estelí. But after the National Police and armed pro-government groups began violently cracking down on the tens of…
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Indonesia Helps People With Mental Health Conditions Find New Lives

Sodikin There used to be a hut next to a family’s home in Cianjur, West Java. In it, a man named Sodikin lived locked up and unable to stand. He ate, slept, and went to the bathroom in the hut, which had one window no bigger than the palms of…
Man working in a clothing factory in Indonesia, stitching buttons
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Even Government Offices in Iran Are Inaccessible for People With Disabilities

“I know it’s very dangerous,” she said. “Each time I get on an escalator with my wheelchair, I prepare myself for death. But I have no other choice. I have nobody to help me.”  In a new report, “‘I Am Equally Human’:…
© 2018 John Holmes for Human Rights Watch
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People with Disabilities in Brazil Forced to Live in Institutions

At age 25, Leonardo Barcellos de Albuquerque is finally where he wants to be – at home, living with his mother in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is creating his fourth music album – he released three other CDs over the past three years – and is also…
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The Stories From People With Disabilities Who Have Endured Humanitarian crises

Simplice – Central African Republic The frustration burned in Simplice Lenguy’s eyes as he spoke about the situation faced by people with disabilities since conflict erupted in the Central African Republic. In…
Ali, a 22-year-old Afghan asylum seeker with a disability, living in Moria camp, on the beach in Lesbos, Greece. He told Human Rights Watch he can’t access showers in the camp and sometimes tries to wash himself in the sea.
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Women in Sudan’s War-torn Southern Kordofan Region Have Little Access to Health Care

When 14-year-old Hassina had still not given birth after more than two days of labor, her family started to worry. She was bleeding and had passed out more than once from exhaustion and pain. The nearest hospital was miles away.…
Mukuma Hamad, a volunteer health worker (L), and James Atai, a nurse, sit at a table displaying almost the total stock of basic medicines in the only health clinic in Hadara village, rebel-controlled Southern Kordofan.
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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…
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Long Journey Home for Baby With Disabilities

At her local church in Yerevan, Armenia, Siranush lit a candle and prayed that her daughter would survive the night. Lusine, 22, was hovering between life and death in a nearby hospital after a terrible car crash. As Siranush pleaded for her daughter’s…
Armenia Orphanage Witness - Meri 1
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The day Julija was born should have been a day of celebration for Jasmina and Ivica Čuković, a Serbian couple, who had tried for years to have a baby. But the events following their daughter’s birth in a public hospital in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, left…
Julija Čuković, who spent ten months of her life in an institution, at home in Kragujevac with her parents, where she enjoys to play with her younger sister, also in the photo. © 2016 Zoran Stamenković
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Sisandua Hani’s fight to keep her son in school

Ntsikelelo is small for his age, and quite a handful. One moment, the 8-year old rolls around on the floor, the next instant he paces the room, impatiently and with big strides. The colorful picture books his mother has spread out on a low table hardly…
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It was about two o’clock in the afternoon, on a warm December day in 2013, when the sound of gunshots and frantic shouting abruptly woke Ambroise Andet from his midday nap. Startled, the 27-year-old propped himself up where he had been sleeping and looked…
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Tatjana is 47, but she can’t travel to Austria to visit her daughter without permission from her legal guardian. In fact, she can’t even leave the town in Croatia where she lives without approval. It’s the same if she wants to move to another house, sign…
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Seven year-old Nika brims over with life, dancing and singing her way around the kitchen of her family’s home outside Moscow. All smiles, she pauses to tell a visitor about the ballerinas she saw perform at a recent Christmas show, recites bits of poetry…
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Faith learned she was HIV positive two years ago, after giving birth to her daughter. The Zambian government prides itself on its HIV prevention outreach, and every pregnant woman is supposed to be tested for the virus, to prevent passing it on to their…
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Russia to Host the Paralympics, But Millions With Disabilities Face Discrimination

For many 19 year olds, the world is a place of growing possibilities and increasing independence. Not for Nikolai Titkov.  Thin and pale, he spends nearly all day, every day, in bed. Pushed against a wall in his narrow bedroom, the bed is a jumble of…