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Important Problems Remain

UK troops who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity overseas, can still be prosecuted in UK courts. In May the UK government reversed course on a plan that would have effectively immunized from prosecution UK forces who allegedly committed…
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, November 7, 2019. 
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Briefing on the Need for Urgent Amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill November 2, 2020

Human Rights Watch Submission to the House of the Lords Briefing on the Need for Urgent Amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill November 2, 2020 Introduction: Human Rights Watch is pleased that the government of the United Kingdom has…
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Recommendations on the Fight Against Impunity for Grave International Crimes

From April 27 to May 2, 2015, the Congolese Ministry of Justice and Human Rights is convening “Etats Généraux,” a large conference to evaluate justice sector reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The conference will be held in the capital, Kinshasa…
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Supporting the Government’s Proposal to Establish Specialized Mixed Chambers and other related Judicial Reforms

The Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) has been the theatre of grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law over the past two decades. The International Criminal Court(ICC) opened an investigation in Congo in 2004 and has brought…
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In October, 2011, the Obama administration said it would send 100 US military advisers to central Africa to help the region’s armies combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a vicious Ugandan rebel group. Human Rights Watch has pressed the US government…
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The rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues to kill civilians and abduct children in remote regions of central Africa at an alarming rate with no end in sight. Nearly three years after the LRA began its most current campaign of attacking villages and…
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The Risks of Putting Justice Aside for Peace

Introduction I. Afghanistan II. Burundi III. Democratic Republic of the Congo IV. Indonesia Conclusion Introduction Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, the belief that those responsible for serious human rights abuses should be…
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A mixed chamber and other accountability measures

Introduction I. Establishing a mixed chamber for the Congo: why, what and how? II. The role of the African Union III. Other measures to address grave crimes committed in the DRC   Introduction On October 1, 2010, the United Nations' Office of…
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Reasons to Oppose the Attorney General Interfering with the Arrest Warrant Procedure in Cases of Suspected Serious International Crimes

The organizations that have prepared this briefing paper are gravely concerned that any changes to existing law and procedure will undermine the capacity of victims of serious international crimes to hold accountable alleged perpetrators who come within…
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I. Introduction II. Rationale for a mixed chamber III. Legal foundation IV. International participation V. Capacity-building/sharing expertise I. Introduction Human Rights Watch has worked closely and extensively with the Congolese justice system in a…
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The 15-year-old girl, looking even younger than her years, lay on a mattress in a shelter in eastern Congo, her sleeping newborn son beside her. "I was just coming back from the river to fetch water," Regine told Juliane Kippenberg, senior children's…
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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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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Human Rights Watch is pleased with the implementation six months ago of a program for the urgent restoration of the criminal justice system in Bunia, Ituri province ("the program"). This program is the result of a joint effort by the government of the DRC…
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A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Human Rights Watch strongly believes that accountability for serious past crimes is the foundation for post-conflict reconstruction based on the rule of law and respect for human rights. This Briefing Paper looks at the challenges in addressing impunity…
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Forces on all sides in the Congo conflict have committed war crimes against women and girls. HRW's report, "The War Within The War: Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Eastern Congo," documents the frequent and sometimes systematic use of rape and…
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In early December, Human Rights Watch Counsel Pascal Kambale organized a Government-NGO conference on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).