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Governments Need to Match Commitments with Action

Earlier in July, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector pledged almost $40 billion at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris to fight gender inequality over the next five years. The aim is to accelerate progress on women’s and girls’…
A girl holds the hand of a boy in Agadez, Niger on October 9, 2018.
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Free Wrongfully Held Opposition Members, Respect Freedom of Assembly

As Guinea’s President Alpha Condé prepares to be sworn in for a controversial third term on December 15, scores of opposition leaders, supporters, and others perceived to be close to the opposition are locked up, facing what appear to be politically…
A group of people standing in a city street
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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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Residents Take the Fight for Compensation to the ECOWAS Court

More than a year after losing their homes, thousands of victims of brutal forced evictions in Guinea have yet to receive compensation, alternative housing, or any other form of redress. Between February and March 2019, Guinea’s Ministry for Towns…
Rubble of demolished homes in the Dar-Es-Salam neighborhood of Conakry, Guinea’s capital, on June 8, 2019.
News

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.
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Justice Minister Affirms Trial to Start in June

Guinea’s Justice Minister Mohamed Lamine Fofana has announced his government’s “unequivocal” support for the start of the trial to hold the alleged perpetrators of the September 28, 2009 stadium massacre accountable. The minister spoke…
 Opposition supporters flee Conakry’s main stadium on September 28, 2009, after security forces stormed and opened fire on rally participants.
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Three Allegedly Killed on November 4 During Funeral for Slain Demonstrators

The government of Guinea should ensure a speedy and independent investigation after three people were allegedly shot dead this week in clashes with security forces. The alleged killings occurred during a funeral procession on November 4…
People protest on the streets of Conakry, Guinea, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.
News

UN Trip a Chance to Press Guinea on Abuses Against Opposition

Guinean President Alpha Condé is visiting the United States this month to attend the United Nations General Assembly, and to reportedly drum up investment from American investors. Condé will be keen to promote Guinea’s…
Anti-riot police clash with Guinean opposition supporters in Conakry on March 22, 2018.
News

UN Should Push Government to Protect Rights Ahead of 2020 Elections

Next year, Guinea’s human rights record will come under scrutiny in a review carried out by the Human Rights Council. Human Rights Watch yesterday gave the Council a report that looks at the state of human rights in the country and…
Anti-riot police clash with Guinean opposition supporters in Conakry on March 22, 2018. © 2018 CELLOU BINANI/AFP/Getty Images.
News

New Justice Minister Should Ensure Trial Date Set for September 2009 Case

The resignation of Guinea’s Justice Minister Cheick Sako – who oversaw significant progress in the investigation in Guinea’s devastating 2009 stadium massacre – should not end hope of bringing those responsible to justice…
News

Complaint Linked to World Bank Loan Alleges Land Seizures, Damage to Water Sources

Last week, 13 rural communities in Guinea made public a complaint against the World Bank’s private lending arm over a loan to one of country’s largest bauxite miners, alleging its operations have destroyed ancestral farm lands and…
A woman in Lansanayah, a village 750 meters from a bauxite mine owned by La Société Minière de Boké consortium.
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Efforts to Improve Oversight of Mining Need to Benefit Affected Communities

Earlier this month, looking out over the vast swathes of barren red land that make up a fast-growing bauxite mine, I witnessed first-hand the rapid growth of Guinea’s bauxite mining boom. Bauxite from Guinea is used to produce aluminum…
Farmers from Dapilon village, in the Boké region, look out over land, on the banks of the River Nunez, cleared for the construction of a mining port belonging to the La Société Minière de Boké consortium.
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

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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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.
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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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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

Step Forward for Much Needed Accountability

The arrest of a man charged with crimes committed in a horrendous massacre in Guinea brought justice an important step closer for one of the single worst incidents during decades of abusive, authoritarian rule that ended in 2010.   …
News
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