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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Bring to Justice Those Responsible for Killing 10 Deminers

The United Nations, governments, and humanitarian groups working to eradicate landmines and explosive remnants of war are condemning the reprehensible killing of 10 Halo Trust deminers and wounding of 16 others in Afghanistan on Tuesday. As a co-…
Clearance operator from the Halo Trust clearing a steep, rocky hillside in Afghanistan.
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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.
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Suicide Bombing Latest Attack Targeting Shia Community

Madina, 17, headed off to class last Wednesday as she had always done, pursuing her hope to go to university and earn a business degree so she could start her own company. But for Madina and 39 other students – all under 20 years old –…
Men carry the coffin of a relative who died in the suicide bombing at Mawoud Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2018.
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Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
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Slight Fall in Ground Fighting Civilian Casualties by Government Forces

When I was in Kabul a few days ago, I caught up with an old Afghan friend, who remarked that the relentless violence in Afghanistan is hard for outsiders to comprehend. The mounting toll of dead and wounded has become abstract, he said, hard…
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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
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Ground Fighting Taking Horrific Toll on Civilians

Children represent the fastest growing group among civilians killed and injured in Afghanistan’s long-running armed conflict. The latest update from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) documents 639 conflict-related deaths and 1,…
Afghan boys look out from behind a damaged wall after a Taliban attack in Kabul, Afghanistan October 6, 2015.
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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The photo is shocking. A young woman – 20 years old – lies in a hospital bed, cradling her infant. Where her nose should be is instead a ragged bandage. Her eyes gaze out from over the bandage, looking far away and numb. This is…
Afghan woman Raiza Gul, 20, and whose nose was sliced off by her husband in an attack, lies on a bed with her baby as she receives treatment at a hospital in the northern province of Faryab on January 19, 2016.
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Last week Russian state media gave big play to allegations that Ukrainian forces had used white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon in eastern Ukraine. In the midst of it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged an investigation into the use of…