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Strengthen Protections against Violence and Discrimination

“We know where you live, we’re going to kill you.” Those words echoed in Ale’s mind long after she left Guatemala to seek asylum. The men who threatened her had phoned to extort her nearly every day for two months in 2018, calling her homophobic slurs…
Protest against the “Life and Family Protection” bill in Guatemala City, May 1, 2019.
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President Weah Should Commit to Real Progress, Back War Crimes Court

Liberia’s justice minister, Frank Musa, gave a misleading statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council on March 17 regarding the government’s purported efforts to ensure much-needed justice for widespread atrocity crimes committed during the…
The 36th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
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UN General Assembly an Opportunity to Advance War Crimes Court

One year ago, Liberian President George Weah gave hope to victims of brutal crimes committed during the country’s civil wars when he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly about pursuing a war crimes court for Liberia. He said consultations…
Liberia's President George Manneh Weah addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 25, 2019.
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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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Plan is a Recipe for Abuse

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced that the country would send 6,000 National Guard troops to the country’s southern border to contain irregular migration from Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras. Mexico’s long…
Mexican authorities stop a migrant caravan that had earlier crossed the Mexico - Guatemala border, near Metapa, Chiapas state, Mexico, Wednesday, June 5, 2019.
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Survivors and Advocates Seek Help from UN Human Rights Committee

Norma* (*indicates a pseudonym) was 12 when her father began raping her. She became pregnant shortly thereafter. Though abortion is legal in Ecuador when a woman or girl’s life or health is in danger, no one told her this. She gave birth despite…
#NiñasNoMadres
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Government Pledges Statement on Accountability, but More is Needed

Liberia inched closer to justice for war crimes this week. During an appearance before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva on Monday, the Liberian delegation pledged – for the first time – to issue a public statement on…
Supporters of George Weah attend a meeting during their party's presidential campaign rally at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia, Liberia December 23, 201
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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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Actually, US Exported the MS13 Gang to El Salvador

In his speech announcing new “get tough on immigrants” policies, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it was necessary to take a “stand” against “transnational gangs like MS-13 and international cartels.” MS-13. The Mara…
Members of the MS-13 gang are detained near the crime scene where two men, Jose Wilfredo Navidad and Nestor Alexander Rivera, were killed as they rode a motorcycle on their way to work, in San Salvador, El Salvador January 26, 2016.
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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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Enact Proposed Law to Protect Rural Communities

Liberia is on the cusp of passing a historic law that would strengthen the rights of rural communities to land on which they have lived and worked for generations – much of which has recently been acquired by large-scale commercial acquisitions. The…
Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (L) smiles during a meeting at City Hall in Monrovia, January 30, 2013.
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Charles Taylor is staying in prison. A United Nations-backed court today delivered an appeals judgment affirming the original verdict against the former Liberian president, upholding his 50-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity…
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It’s often difficult on a short trip to a country to figure out the public mood of the place. Not so in Liberia, where even a brief visit will reveal what’s on people’s minds: corruption. After just a few days in Monrovia, I was amazed how so many…
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Tens of thousands of Guatemalan women working as domestic workers and in the maquila sector (apparel factories) face widespread discrimination that is sponsored or tolerated by the government.