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Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
News

National Assembly Passes Law to Ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention

Update: On October 28, the Senate adopted the bill to ratify the ILO violence and harassment Convention (C190). (Paris, July 23) “The world of work must not be a source of anxiety or insecurity for women.” ”France now intends to be a model in the…
Protestors marching to demand the end of femicide and violence against women in Paris, France, November 23, 2019. 
News

Parliament Should Support Ratification and Improve Protections in National Law

Two years after a landmark treaty to combat workplace violence and harassment was adopted, France has taken an important step towards domesticating the effort. On Wednesday, France’s Council of Ministers approved the ratification of the ILO…
Women demonstrate and march for “First of Chores” on International Day
News

Strong Political Declaration Needed to Reduce Civilian Harm

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on many things, including the negotiations to conclude a new political declaration on explosive weapons in populated areas. But states have continued such use, particularly with weapons with wide-area effects,…
Children in front of the Africa/Ayga hotel likely damaged by a direct fire weapon in Humera town, Tigray region, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.
News

Ukraine Should Join The 34 Other European States That Have Ratified the Istanbul Convention

Violence against women and girls in Ukraine remains a serious problem. A 2019 study by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Ukraine found that two-thirds of women surveyed said they had “experienced psychological, physical or sexual…
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a press conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, May 22, 2020.
News

Ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, Make National Reforms

“Together, governments and social partners, we say NO to violence and harassment and YES to building a better world of work.” France’s Labour Minister Muriel Pénicaud gave these remarks last year when the International Labour Organization (ILO)…
People holding signs against sexual harassment at work protest cuts to France's Ministry of Women's Rights budget, July 21, 2017.
News

Arms Sales to Rights-Abusing Countries Fuel Atrocities Against Civilians

Last week, the French government published its latest report on arms exports, documenting sales and transfers throughout 2019. After Qatar, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt received the greatest amounts, accounting for €1.4 billion and €1.0…
French-made Leclerc tanks of the Saudi-led coalition are deployed on the outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden during a military operation, August 3, 2015.
News

Other Dangerous Crowd Control Weapons Remain in Use

This week, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that French police would stop using the controversial GLI-F4 tear gas grenade. This move is long overdue, but doesn’t address serious concerns about other weapons…
Protester picks up a tear gas grenade during a police charge on December 8, 2019 on the Champs Elysees, Paris.
News

New Law Would Let Lesbian Couples, Single Women Get In Vitro Fertilization

Update: On June 29, 2021, the French Parliament adopted the new bioethics law with 326 votes for and 115 against. The first article of the bill allows lesbian couples and single women access to medically assisted procreation. All women in…
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn gives a speech to introduce the debate on a bill that would give single women and lesbian couples access to in-vitro fertilization, at the National Assembly, in Paris
News

Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News

Laws of War Prohibit Use of Indiscriminate Weapons in Populated Areas

As fighting has flared up between government forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine over these past two days, we have spoken to people trapped on both sides of the line of contact. “Here we go again,” groans a friend in separatist-…
One of the many unguided Grad rockets photographed by Human Watch researchers in eastern Ukraine in 2014-2015
News
France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil D’Etat, has called time, at least for now, on the shameful “burkini bans” adopted by mayors across the country, in effect orders that prohibited wearing “religious clothing” on the beach. The court,…
Protesters demonstrate against France's burkini ban outside the French Embassy in London, August 25, 2016.
News

Banning Burkini in Wake of Terror Attacks Creates Dangerous Confusion

A woman is confronted by state officials in a public place and forced to change her clothing, while another is fined for failing to wear “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism.” Unbelievable in a country like France? No, it happened on French…
A Muslim woman wears a burkini, a swimsuit that leaves only the face, hands and feet exposed, on a beach in Marseille, France, August 17, 2016.
News

A Leader in Rejecting Weapons So Deadly to Civilians

France has completed the destruction of its stockpile of 34,876 cluster munition rockets and artillery projectiles that contained 14.9 million explosive submunitions, meeting a key obligation of the international ban treaty. It has also strongly condemned…
A pile of shoes during the annual demonstration by NGO Humanity and Inclusion denouncing antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions in Lyon on September 20, 2014.
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Visiting the site of an attack by pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on February 10, President Petro Poroshenko said: “It is savages who use cluster munitions against civilians.” The Ukrainian president’s words echoed the…
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Evidence indicates that Ukrainian government forces fired cluster munitions at Luhansk city in eastern Ukraine last week, killing two civilians and injuring two more. These weapons are banned by 116 countries because of the danger they pose to civilians…
News
Between 9 and 10 this morning, a salvo of unguided Grad rockets struck the eastern district of Mariupol, a government controlled city in eastern Ukraine. Two other rocket attacks struck in the area later in the day. As of this writing, local authorities…
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On October 23, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said on the ministry’s Twitter account that the Ukrainian government’s use of cluster munitions showed the “barbaric nature of Kiev’s punitive operation,” the Kremlin’s term for…
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“Is this what they call a ceasefire?” a woman asked me as workers cleaned debris from a small grocery store in central Donetsk in eastern Ukraine that had been destroyed in a recent rocket attack. Since September 5, there has supposedly been a…
News
Was MH 17 brought down by a missile fired by anti-Kiev insurgents or by some other cause? That  question is best answered by an independent expert investigation. The families of the 298 victims, whose agony is surely unbearable, deserve the truth. Yet…