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The U.S. has sent considerable military assistance to Ukraine. That aid needs to be linked to human rights concerns.

When Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has his first meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on August 30, he will be looking for reassurances and commitment from Washington. The U.S. has been a close supporter of Ukraine and has in recent years…
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a press conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, May 22, 2020.
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Grave Medical Concerns for Detained Women

(Kyiv) – Russia-backed armed groups in eastern Ukraine are torturing and ill-treating people in custody, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has obtained new information about several women being held by the “Donetsk people’s republic” (…
© 2016 Human Rights Watch cover illustration with two men tied up
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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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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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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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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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Facilitate Safe Crossing for Civilians to Meet Humanitarian Needs

(Kyiv) – Excessive, confusing, and arbitrary restrictions on movement, imposed in parts of eastern Ukraine by Russia-backed armed groups in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, fail to properly accommodate humanitarian imperatives and put an undue…
Люди слушают вооруженного человека из так называемой "ДНР" во время ожидания перед пересечением линии соприкосновения на контрольно-пропускном пункте, который был временно закрыт в связи с пандемией Covid-19, а затем вновь открыт, возле поселка Оленевка Донецкой области, Украина, 7 июля 2020 года.
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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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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.
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Restrictions That Pushed People into Poverty Lifted, But More Reform Needed

Update (August 3, 2020): Despite a decree by the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers announcing that as of August 1, 2020 self-isolation requirements would be lifted for all those crossing into government-controlled territory in the east, groups working on…
A soldier in a face mask checks the temperature of an older woman at a checkpoint in Mayorsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Monday, March 16, 2020.
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Killings, Threats, and Social Control

(Washington, DC) – Armed groups in Colombia have committed killings and other abuses against civilians in an effort to enforce their own measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the arrival of the novel…
National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla members line up in their camp on the banks of the San Juan River, Chocó state, Colombia, on November 21, 2017. 
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Vulnerable, Poor Communities at Risk of Further Abuse

  In parts of Colombia, armed groups exercise a frightening amount of control over the population. Now, some groups are threatening to brutally enforce measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Armed groups have issued threatening…
Colombia ELN soldiers
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The Consequences of Conflict for Displaced People with Disabilities in Eastern Ukraine

"I am grateful for help. But sometimes it’s hard ... The attitude here is: if you want to be left in peace, go back home. But where is home? Everyone who could, who had a place to go, had already left." The ongoing war in eastern Ukraine has divided…
Elena Mikhailovna, 66, and Varya, 11 Sviati Hory, October 2019.
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Pensioners Unable to Travel from Separatist-held Areas Need Reforms

(Kyiv) – Pensioners with limited mobility due to illness, disability, or advancing age who live in nongovernment-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine face overwhelming difficulty accessing their pensions or do not get them at all, Human Rights…
People stand near an ATM, located near the contact line between Russia-backed armed groups and Ukrainian troops in Mayorsk, Ukraine.
News
The news this week that Ukraine has become the 100th country to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration—a Norwegian initiative to make schools safer even during war—has me thinking about two schools at almost opposite ends of Europe. They…
Damaged school in Nikishine Rebel fighters deployed inside the school between September 2014 and February 2015 and exchanged intense fire with Ukrainian forces.