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Afro, Indigenous Communities Especially at Risk

  Internally displaced people in Colombia often live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to water and food. These families, who fled violence in their home regions and often struggle economically, face further risk from Covid-19.…
A photograph sent to Human Rights Watch showing the living conditions of a displaced indigenous community in Buenaventura, Colombia. Their limited access to water and health services means that Covid-19 could spread quickly through the community.
News

The Humanitarian Crisis’ Disproportionate Impact on Older People

I met Fernando Arvelo (pseudonym), a 74-year-old Venezuelan, at a soup kitchen in Cúcuta, the main Colombian city across the border from Táchira state in Venezuela. Fernando moved to Táchira from his home state – a 20-hour drive – soon after his wife,…
A 74-year-oldVenezuelan man eats lunch at a soup kitchen in Cúcuta, a Colombian city across the Venezuelan border, July 28, 2018.
News

Transform Pioneering Work on Child Protection into Action

The global campaign to insulate schools and students from the ravages of war gained momentum today with a string of four new endorsements of the Safe Schools Declaration. The announcements by Djibouti, Macedonia, San Marino, and Peru…
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On International Women’s Day, Remember the Dangers Women Activists Face

It has been a year since Ruth Alicia Lopez Guisao, a rights activist in Colombia, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen. She was an outspoken community leader that worked with Afro-Colombian and indigenous groups on land reform in the western department…
Ruth Alicia López Guisao.
News

Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
News

Transgender Woman Helps People ‘Searching for Answers’

I was in Colombia last week to speak at an event about my work for Human Rights Watch with a focus on homophobic and transphobic bullying. I was to be interviewed by Brigitte Baptiste, who I had never met. When I took my seat in front of hundreds of…
Brigitte Baptiste (L) and Human Rights Watch LGBT Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich, Colombia, February 2017.
News

Colombia’s Peace Agreement a Dirty Deal, Without Justice for Atrocities

“The worst thing is that you can’t have a baby,” Andrea told Human Rights Watch when we interviewed her in 2002. Andrea was describing her time as a 11-year-old girl in the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. Two years…
A Colombian guerilla woman holds her AK-47 as she takes part in a line of rebels during an army parade of fighters of the FARC in Villa Colombia camp near San Vicente del Caguan, Caqueta province, April 29, 1999.
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Architects of Colombia Accord with FARC Should Take Note

On July 13, El Salvador’s Supreme Court overturned a 1993 amnesty law that prevented prosecutions of those responsible for grave human rights abuses committed during the country’s decade-long armed conflict. The court was courageous in upholding the right…
A man holds a banner that reads "impunity", during a protest outside the Special Military Security Unit base in San Salvador, August 24, 2011.
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Marleny was just ten years old when members of an armed group gang-raped her in 2011. She fell pregnant from the rape, but was able to terminate her pregnancy safely and legally. Marleny, not her real name, lives in Colombia, where women and girls have…
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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The state of emergency President Nicolás Maduro declared days ago for the Venezuelan border area should have raised red flags internationally. But it didn’t, and credible allegations of human rights violations are on the rise. The emergency…
Venezuela deportations
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In 2011 an unknown attacker raped “Monica,” a human rights defender supporting victims displaced by the country’s protracted armed conflict. She immediately reported the rape to authorities, but they didn’t help her get access to health care. More than a…
A home in the rural area of Municipality San Carlos Antioquia abandoned by persons displaced by violence, with graffiti of a woman’s body left by armed groups.
News
This Saturday, thousands of Peruvians are expected to take to the streets of Lima to "March for Equality". The march, the second of its kind, comes hot on the heels of a vote on a civil union bill in the Peruvian Congress. The bill, which proposed legal…
News
Isabel P. (pseudonym) was sexually assaulted in 2011 by a man she believed had ties to a criminal gang that had emerged from one of the many paramilitary groups involved in Colombia’s bloody, five decade conflict. When she filed a criminal complaint, she…
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Last week, Colombia’s senate passed an important bill that is a major step in aiding and protecting sexual violence survivors – especially those who are raped or assaulted by guerillas, paramilitaries, Colombian forces, or others in the context of the…
News
(Washington, DC) - Under President Bush's November 13th Military Order on military commissions, any foreign national designated by the President as a suspected terrorist or as aiding terrorists could potentially be detained, tried, convicted and even…