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Decree Allows for Third Gender Option in Identification Documents

Starting July 21, 2021, Argentina’s National Identity Document and passports now include a third gender category, “X,” allowing people to choose to be designated other than female or male. The move makes Argentina the first country in Latin America to…
President Alberto Fernández (center) with other authorities and members of social organizations, form an 'X', at the Bicentennial Museum in Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 21, 2021
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Government Should Reduce Pretrial Detention, Strengthen Judicial Independence

“We are tired of living like this, we live worse than animals,” a Haitian prisoner recently told the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). His testimony and those of the more than 800 prisoners in 12 jails are part of a comprehensive…
A detainee pulls a large stock pot filled with rice and beans during lunch inside the National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Febuary. 13, 2017. 
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End Sweeping Border Expulsions, Re-designate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status

In 1993, when I was a junior staff member at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, I saw first-hand the tragic repercussions of US President Bill Clinton’s failure to follow through on the promise he made as a candidate to…
A migrant from Haiti wearing a mask in the colors of the Mexican and US flags stands at a border crossing with others, waiting to asylum in the US, February 19, 2021. 
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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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Past Raids Led to Killings, Rape

Last week Haiti’s minister of justice and public security announced that government forces would conduct a raid to curb gang violence in Village de Dieu, a low-income neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. He gave “good people” 72 hours to…
People go about their day in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.
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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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Santiago Maldonado Last Seen on August 1, When Police Broke Up Protest

Pressure is building on Argentina to find 28-year-old Santiago Maldonado, who has been missing, possibly the victim of an enforced disappearance, since security forces broke up a protest in southern Argentina on August 1. …
A man poses for a photo with a portrait of Santiago Maldonado, during a demonstration to demand actions to find him in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 11, 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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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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Plan Better to Prevent Problems in Hurricane’s Wake

It’s hard to imagine another disaster on the scale of the 2010 earthquake and the subsequent cholera epidemic in Haiti. Yet the latest reports on the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti on October 4, suggest its devastating effects,…
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People Without Dominican, Haitian Citizenship Stranded as Hurricane Matthew Approaches

Hurricane “Matthew” is set to hit Haiti and Jamaica. Southern Haiti will likely be hit hard, including Anse-a-Pitres, one of the poorest and most remote areas of the island.  My thoughts tonight are with Haitians, but also with the perhaps …
A boy fixes the roof of a makeshift tent at a refugee camp for Haitians returning from the Dominican Republic on the outskirts of Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti, September 6, 2015.
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On March 24, United States President Barack Obama finishes a two-day visit to Argentina. The visit  coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Argentine military coup, which ushered in an era of brutal attacks on people perceived as dissidents, including…
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Newly elected Argentine President Mauricio Macri took the floor at the Mercosur meeting today in Asunción, Paraguay, and called on Venezuela to “free political prisoners,” saying “there can be no space for political persecution based on ideological…
Argentina's President Mauricio Macri attends a session of the Summit of Heads of State of MERCOSUR and Associated States and 49th Meeting of the Common Market Council in Luque, Paraguay, December 21, 2015.
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On Monday, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri filled two vacancies on the Supreme Court (one open since January 2015), arguing that missing 40 percent of its members made it difficult for the five-member body to operate. The court – which has in recent…
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What does a clean toilet have to do with human rights? A surprising amount actually. In Haiti,  latrines and water for drinking and hand washing are extremely scarce in schools. Nearly 60 percent of schools lack toilets and more than three-fourths lack…
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The death last weekend of former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier cut short a historic court case that could have brought him to justice for human rights crimes. But Duvalier was not the only defendant charged with human rights crimes that include…