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UN Report Shows Transfers of Banned Landmines in Conflict

Buried in a new report by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya comes disturbing news about recent transfers of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines. The report shows that antipersonnel mines manufactured in Russia were likely brought…
PMN-2 blast mines recovered from Tripoli, Libya, December 2020. 
News

Attacks on Civil Society and Media, Navalny Imprisonment Need Sustained Scrutiny

For the second time in two years, a group of members at the Human Rights Council, the United Nations’ top human rights body, came together to denounce rights violations in Russia. Two years ago, they expressed outrage over the persecution of lesbian,…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

Beijing’s Growing Repression Needs a Global Response

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the suspension of many high-profile international visits, but Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s appearance in Italy today – to be followed by visits to France, Germany, and the Netherlands – presents an opportunity…
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' meeting on the Novel Coronavirus in Vientiane, Laos, February 20, 2020.
News

Russia Should Support Medical Aid via Syria-Iraq Border to Prevent Covid-19 Spread

The UN Security Council – including Russia – needs to act quickly to reauthorize medical aid deliveries from Iraq to Syria’s northeast to prevent further spread of Covid-19 that could devastate the region.    The council needs to move…
A medic checks the temperature of a man inside a health isolation centre which has been established on the Syrian-Turkish borders in order to place people coming from Turkey to Idlib as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19.
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

General Assembly Fully Funds Investigation into Serious Crimes

In late December, United Nations member countries defeated an attempt by Russia to block funding for investigations into grave abuses in Syria, approving US$17.81 million for a team of investigators responsible for gathering evidence of…
People walk past destruction from government airstrikes in the town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria, January 15, 2020.
News

US and Russia Among States Who Object to Prohibition

Opposition to the creation of so-called “killer robots” – weapons systems that could select and attack targets without any human intervention – is growing. The issue has been hotly debated since 2013, when the Campaign to Stop Killer…
201809arms_killerrobots_campaign_protest_un
News

Huge Budget Cuts Sought for Monitoring Missions

As the negotiations over the United Nations peacekeeping budget enter their final hours, the United States and other influential countries should join forces to prevent Russia and China from drastically curtailing the ability of UN…
Chinese Peacekeepers in the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) ride in their armoured personnel carriers (APC) as they wait in the queue to enter their base in Juba, South Sudan August 1, 2017.
News

Russia Should Change Course and Support the Security Council

When the UN Security Council meets this week to discuss chemical weapons use in Syria, its 15 members should send a strong message to the Syrian government that those responsible for dozens of chemical weapon attacks will be held…
A poison hazard danger sign is seen in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, Syria on April 5, 2017. © 2017 Abdussamed Dagul/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
News

France Bows Out, Leaving an Open Field

To avoid the embarrassment of a public loss, the French government has decided to drop out of the race to join the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). Unless another country steps up, Spain and Australia are guaranteed to win…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
News

Russian Veto Over Chemical Attacks Shows Need for Evidence Gathering

On April 12, Russia’s United Nations ambassador raised his hand to mark Moscow’s eighth veto against a resolution aimed at addressing appalling atrocities in Syria. The failed resolution would have condemned the reported use of chemical weapons in…
Russian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov votes against a draft resolution condemning the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria at the Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria at the United Nations Headquarters in Ne
News

Ministry of Defense Releases Inaccurate Information

We are still investigating what killed dozens and injured hundreds of people exposed to chemicals in Khan Sheikhoun, in northern Syria, on April 4. Did Syrian government forces use chemical weapons, as local residents are telling us? Or could a bomb have…
Spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, September 26, 2016.
News

Companies Should Put Safeguards in Place to Protect Workers Abroad

Our lives are full of products produced in faraway countries, under conditions we don’t know – think of the vegetables you eat, the clothes you wear, or even the device you are reading this on. Human Rights Watch has documented serious abuses in the…
A 13-year-old boy works in artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Obuasi. He dropped out of school at the age of 12 and would like to continue his education.
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

Security Council Shouldn’t Ignore Findings Any Longer

Last fall, a 31-truck United Nations convoy laden with wheat flour, health supplies, and emergency aid left Syrian government-controlled western Aleppo bound for thousands of civilians in the opposition-held countryside. UN banners hung from the front and…
Damaged medical supplies after an airstrike on Urm al-Kubra town, western Aleppo city, Syria September 20, 2016
News

While Russia Loses Bid in Close Vote

How did Saudi Arabia, which has been indiscriminately bombing Yemeni civilians for 18 months, just get re-elected to the Human Rights Council, the United Nations' premier human rights body? Unlike Russia, whose failure to retain its council seat…
A boy walks on the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led air strikes in Khamis Bani-Saad district of the western province of al-Mahweet, Yemen, October 27, 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.
News

Video Footage Shows Incendiary Weapons Mounted on Russian Attack Aircraft

Several major media outlets are reporting that Russia’s state-run television has broadcasted footage appearing to show Russian aircraft at its airbase in Syria equipped with “cluster bombs.” The clip was deleted from YouTube after analysts published the…
Footage showing what Human Rights Watch arms experts have identified as RBK-500 ZAB-2.5SM incendiary bombs mounted on a Russian attack aircraft at a Russian air base in Syria, June 18, 2016.
News
“We do not see anything extraordinary or abnormal in this.” This is what Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Alexei Borodavkin, said in Geneva on Friday, as he announced that his government is closing the UN’s human rights office’s presence in…
Russian servicemen, dressed in historical uniforms, line up as they take part in a military parade rehearsal in front of St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, November 6, 2015.