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Why New Law Is Needed and How It Can Be Achieved

The Sixth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), scheduled to be held at the United Nations in Geneva from December 13-17, 2021, is a major juncture for international talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems. After…
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Common Visions for a Killer Robots Treaty

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to advancing Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) discussions on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), also known as fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots.” Before the global lockdown, states…
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To the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the challenges and risks facing climate defenders for the upcoming report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. While recognizing that…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
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Denouncing All Use of Cluster Munitions

The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which categorically bans the use of cluster munitions, seeks to eliminate these weapons and the unacceptable harm they cause. By adopting an unequivocal condemnation of cluster munition use at the convention’s…
Two unexploded Israeli-made M095 submunitions
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Briefing Paper for US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry

I. Deforestation Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased dramatically since President Bolsonaro took office in 2019. The increase was more than 30 percent during the first year of his administration and an additional 9.5 percent during the…
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Assessing the Problem Shortcomings of Protocol III Protocol III to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) seeks to protect civilians from incendiary weapons, which burn people, homes, and infrastructure. While the protocol prohibits and…
Al menos cuatro submuniciones incendiarias arden en el suelo de una estrecha calle en el vecindario al-Mashhad de la ciudad de Alepo oriental, controlada por la oposición, inmediatamente después de un ataque con armas incendiarias ocurrido el 7 de agosto de 2016.
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Components of Strong Law and Supporting Examples

More than one-quarter of the states parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions have adopted dedicated national implementation legislation, but much work remains to be done in this area. Article 9 obliges states parties to implement the convention…
An unexploded M77 DPICM submunition found in Dughayj village, northern Yemen, after a cluster munition attack in June or July 2015.
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Canada Is Failing Indigenous Peoples Facing Threats to Food, Health, and Land

In some of the most remote stretches of Canada – from the provincial norths to the territories – First Nations are facing serious threats to their ways of life because of the effects of climate change. A rapidly changing environment means harvesting food…
Weenusk First Nations members packing their sleds ahead of a hunt near Peawanuck, Ontario, December 14, 2019.
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Why Poverty and Inequality are Human Rights Issues

Human Rights Watch has long documented how, when people live in poverty, their ability to exercise all their human rights erodes. Because of this, we have pushed governments to end abuses that contribute to poverty. We have recently decided to…
girls from the Kalokol Girls Primary School fetch water
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The Global Pandemic Offers Chance to Embrace Clean Energy

It’s been three months since governments around the world implemented lockdowns in response to Covid-19. The virus has killed hundreds of thousands and forced millions more into joblessness and destitution. With the global transport of people and goods…
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Civilians Bear the Brunt of Renewed Fighting

Libya began descending into chaos after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Could you summarize the complex situation in Libya today? The latest conflict started in April 2019, when an armed group in eastern Libya called…
Government of National Accord fighters take positions during clashes with east-based fighters from the Libyan National Army at Al-Yarmouk frontline in Tripoli, Libya on August 29, 2019.
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Summary Most antipersonnel landmines possessed by states that joined the Mine Ban Treaty were swiftly destroyed by the time the treaty entered into force on 1 March 1999. In the 20 years since, there has been steady progress to destroy remaining stocks…
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How European Development Banks Fail the Very People They Claim to Assist

Why did you focus your research on these oil palm plantations? These plantations provide jobs for many people. But their workers are being underpaid and exposed to unhealthy working conditions. The European development banks that finance these…
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Precedent for a Political Declaration on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

Summary and Recommendations States are currently engaged in a political process to address the consequences of using explosive weapons in populated areas. That process was launched in October 2019 when more than 130 states…
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Memorandum to Delegates of the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

  Ten years ago, images of white phosphorus munitions raining fire on populated areas of Gaza generated international outrage and sparked discussions of incendiary weapons at the United Nations. The Israel Defense Forces’ use of white…
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Being Outside is a Health Risk for Some of Zambia’s Children

How did you first become aware of the problem in Kabwe? We learned about it from an environmental group several years ago but became interested in doing our own research after seeing a young person from Kabwe speak at a United Nations event.…
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