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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Court Recognizes Urgency of Climate Crisis

Increased heat, more frequent forest fires, and other extreme weather events fueled by climate change are already harming children in Europe today and governments are not doing enough to cut emissions and prevent catastrophic impacts on children’s…
Portugal Wild Fires
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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Plan Would Link EU Funds to Rule of Law, Functioning Judiciary

It’s not every day the European Commission proposes something truly ground-breaking. But yesterday, when the EU announced a new plan to link EU funds given to member states to the health of their judiciary, it did just that.…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Other Council of Europe Countries Should Back LGBT Rights

As of March 1, Finland will allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing to thirteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws.Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement on February 21, affirmed…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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US Should Conclude Policy Review and Ban Landmines

(Washington, DC) – Finland’s action to join the international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines should spur the United States and others to get on board without delay, Human Rights Watch said today. Finland deposited its instrument of accession to…
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First Formal Call for Resettlement From an EU Government

(Washington, DC, December 11, 2008) - Other EU governments should accept Portugal's call to resettle Guantanamo detainees who cannot be returned to their home countries, Human Rights Watch said today. The Portuguese foreign minister, Luis Amado, made the…
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States Avoid Serious Discussion of Rights in Algeria, Tunisia

(Geneva) – The first session of the new country review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council was undermined by inconsistencies and the timidity of some governments in reviewing others, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 18, 2008 the council…
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Will Assess India, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and 12 Others

(Geneva) – The UN Human Rights Council will begin a new review process on April 7, 2008. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is the most innovative and ambitious instrument of the council and was set up to assess the human rights performance of all 192 UN…
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Protect Civilians in Darfur and Somalia

(Lisbon)- European and African leaders should go beyond promises and act to end atrocities, hold abusers to account and combat corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. The first European Union-Africa summit for seven years will be held in Lisbon on…
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Portugal should use its presidency of the European Union to step up the defense of rights worldwide, Human Rights Watch said today. Portugal takes over the rotating EU Presidency from Germany for six months beginning on July 1. “The EU is the world’s…
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When he was here last week, Prime Minister Jose Socrates told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that there would be no more European Union moralizing about Russia’s human rights record, saying that “no one should claim to lecture anyone else" [“ninguém…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…