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On October 20, 2011, a Libyan revolutionary commander from Misrata called me jubilantly to break the news personally that Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s long-time dictator, had finally been caught by rebel fighters near the coastal city of Sirte, his…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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The latest reports of targeted US attacks on  militant leaders abroad – one in Libya and one in Yemen —once again raise the issue of the secrecy around these attacks, especially the drone attacks under CIA jurisdiction.   But Congress may be…
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The State Department’s new list of governments using child soldiers is out. Seven countries are named this year. The list is not that surprising: It includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma and South Sudan, which have deployed child soldiers for…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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Over the last five years, the global campaign to stop the use of child soldiers has garnered an impressive series of successes, including new international legal standards, action by the UN Security Council and regional bodies, and pledges from various…
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By Joanne Mariner, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch's Americas Division Published in FindLaw.com September 29, 2003     When Paula Calderón was fourteen, her mother died. A few weeks after the funeral, Paula’s father brought her to a guerrilla…