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Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans have been fleeing threats of reprisal and persecution by seeking refuge abroad. Taliban officials have issued vague and doubtful pledges about respecting human rights. Credible reports…
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In 2015, Adriana Perez da Silva’s 16-year-old son and four of his friends were driving home after a day in the park when the police fired at their car, killing them. Ms. Silva believes they were targeted because they were Black. As a…
Policemen patrol the Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro on September 14, 2012.
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Efforts to save the world’s forests could soon get a boost from proposed laws in the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States to restrict the import of agricultural commodities linked to deforestation. These three markets’ consumption…
Cláudio José da Silva at the bank of the Pindaré river, in the Brazilian Amazon.
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Police Reform Urgently Needed to Prevent Future Violations

(Washington, DC) – Members of the Colombian National Police have committed egregious abuses against mostly peaceful demonstrators in protests that began in April 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Colombia’s government should take urgent…
A member of ESMAD throws a tear gas grenade by hand at protesters on May 28, 2021 in Bogota, Colombia.
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Police Killed 27 People in Low-Income Neighborhood; 1 Officer Died

(São Paulo, May 31, 2021) –The attorney general for the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro should fully investigate the civil and criminal responsibility of civil police commanders for extensive human rights abuses during the most lethal police…
Activists hold a sign that reads in Portuguese "Justice for Jacarezinho. End massacres in favelas" during a protest a day after police killed 27 people during an operation in Jacarezinho favela, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 7, 2021.
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Armed groups operating in the eastern Colombian state of Arauca and the neighboring Venezuelan state of Apure control people’s everyday lives through threats, kidnappings, forced labor, child recruitment, murder, and extortion. In Venezuela, they…
People disembark in Colombia after fleeing Venezuela's Apure state due to a Venezuelan military operation against armed groups in the region, as well as egregious abuses by Venezuelan security forces.
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Extrajudicial Executions, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture in Anti-Guerrilla Operation

(Washington, DC) – Venezuelan security forces have committed egregious abuses against local residents during a weeks-long operation against armed groups on the border with Colombia, Human Rights Watch said today. Venezuelan security forces opened…
Venezuelans flee from security forces.
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As a new more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus spreads across the country, Brazilians are getting understandably frustrated that it is taking some time to get access to a Covid-19 vaccine. So far, 6.1 million Brazilians have…
Covid-19 vaccination underway in the Umariaçu indigenous village, near Tabatinga, Amazonas, Brazil.
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Weakened Enforcement Leads to Spike in Amazon Deforestation

(São Paulo, January 13, 2021) – President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to sabotage efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19 in Brazil and pursued other policies that undermine human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Presidente Jair Messias Bolsonaro
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Even before her 15-month-old daughter, Yamilet, died of malnutrition, María Clara Palmar Fernandez would sometimes have days when she could not provide any food for her children. “I’d hug them and cry because I could only give them water,” she told us…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.
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Over the past year, France has been an outspoken voice on the mounting crisis in the Brazilian Amazon, calling international attention to the disastrous environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. But if France genuinely hopes to help…
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A case pending before Colombia’s Constitutional Court, brought by Causa Justa, creates a landmark opportunity to end an approach to abortion that violates the rights of women and health workers by decriminalizing this critically important health care…
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Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon. Despite an unstable connection there, a phone call from Stockholm came through…
Osvalinda Marcelino Alves Pereira, a small-scale farmer, lives in a settlement surrounded by forests in Trairão, a small town in Pará state, at the heart of the Amazon.
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All people should have the right to education from childhood and as a lifelong process. No one should be subjected to discrimination based on biases about whether they can benefit from receiving education or not. In the last years, Brazil’s law for…
A girl with a disability in the walled yard of an institution for people with disabilities in Rio de Janeiro.
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It happened again on Sunday: Six young Colombians killed on a sidewalk in broad daylight, in an attack that reportedly involved rifles and grenades, in the troubled department of Cauca. There have been dozens of such mass killing nationwide this year…
A member of the security forces aims during a demonstration against police brutality in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 13, 2020.
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Reporting Rape Survivors to Police Can Endanger Their Health

Brazilian authorities should revoke a Health Ministry regulation that erects new barriers to legal abortion access, Human Rights Watch said today. Among other measures in the August 27, 2020 regulation that could discourage women and girls from…
Women hold a banner calling for “legal, safe and free abortion,”
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Colombia is facing the most critical stress test for its rule of law in the last decade. The international community should pay attention. On August 4, the country’s Supreme Court announced that it had ordered the pretrial house arrest of Senator…
Former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe arrives at the Supreme Court for questioning in a case about his alleged involvement in witness tampering in Bogotá, Colombia, Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
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Improve Wayuu’s Access to Food, Water, Health During Covid-19

(New York) – The Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdown are making it even harder for the Wayuu, an indigenous group in Colombia and Venezuela, to survive, Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health said in a joint report…
Children in the Laamana community, Uribia, La Guajira, some of whom are malnourished.