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New Resolution Forms Expert Group to Probe Racism in Policing

The United Nations Human Rights Council recently adopted a milestone UN resolution to create an independent mechanism, made up of three experts, to investigate the root causes of systemic racism and police violence. Brought forward by the Group of…
Demonstrators kneel outside the Long Beach Police Department in Long Beach, California during a protest on May 31, 2020. 
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The 21st Century Movement for Repair

The first government proposal to repair the damage of US slavery was Special Field Order No. 15 from civil war general William T. Sherman. The wartime order from Sherman, who led Union soldiers, allotted 40 acres of land to some newly freed Black families…
A sculpture of African slaves by Ghanaian artist, Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, at the beginning of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. 
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Meaningful Consultations with People with Disabilities Needed For Future Law

Activists and disability groups recently scored a key victory in Mexico: A regressive draft mental health bill was put on hold before reaching the Senate for a vote. The bill was based on a coercive approach to treatment of people with psychosocial…
Reyna (izquierda) y César, ambos con discapacidad física, dijeron haber sobrevivido violencia por parte de sus familiares. Viven juntos en Monterrey, Nuevo León.
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Unanimous Resolution Brings Scrutiny to Global Violations

The United Nations Human Rights Council is moving against systemic racism and police violence – including in the United States. On June 19, the 47-member council unanimously passed a resolution mandating that the UN high commissioner for human…
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.
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Agreement Signed to Monitor Social Care and Mental Health Institutions

Authorities in Indonesia have taken an important step to uphold the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) across the country. A number of national agencies, including the National Human Rights…
Members of a family sit on the floor at home watching tv.
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All Children Should Have Access to School

Why did you focus on Kazakhstan for this report? The Kazakh government has committed to improving education opportunities for children with disabilities, but so far we haven’t seen that commitment lead to meaningful change. We wanted to better…
First grade math class in a mainstream inclusive school in Almaty, Kazakhstan, includes at least one child with disabilities.
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Prisoners with Disabilities Serving Time in Solitary, Face Physical, Sexual Abuse

How is it that 50 percent of Australia’s prison population has a disability? Eighteen percent of Australia’s general population has a disability. The most common type of disabilities found in prisons are mental health conditions. People with…
A prisoner lies in his solitary confinement cell in the safety unit at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, northern Queensland.
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What are some of the misconceptions around being born intersex? Unfortunately, in our society we’re still at a point where most people don’t know the basic facts about being intersex. People think it is very rare, but really, up to two percent of the…
A poster by intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis
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Even after five years of horror in Syria, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, the extent of atrocities in Aleppo is hitting new highs as Syrian government forces advance on the rebel-held eastern part of the city. Syria’s commercial…
Ruins of a residential house that was struck in an aerial attack, killing at least 24 civilians, on September 27, 2016.
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Currently in Indonesia, over 18,000 people with psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) are kept in chains – in part because of a dearth of mental health services. But that may begin to change. During a meeting with Human Rights Watch…
A man with psychological disability appears to be chained to a wooden bed.
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More than 57,000 people in Indonesia with mental health conditions have been chained and locked up in overcrowded rooms or filthy sheds at least once in their lives. About 18,000 are still believed to be shackled, despite a 1977 government ban on pasung, …
A man with a psychosocial disability lies chained at the wrist on a platform bed at the Bina Lestari healing center in Brebes, Central Java. All residents of the healing center are chained. © 2015 Andrea Star Reese for Human Rights Watch
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Background 1) The former Libyan government headed by Muammar Gaddafi controlled and repressed civil society and promised but failed to deliver much-needed human rights reforms. Under Gaddafi, Libya maintained harsh restrictions on rights to freedom of…
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  Menstruation isn’t something that necessarily leaps to mind when one thinks of human rights. But May 28, 2014, the first-ever global Menstrual Hygiene Day, is designed to change that – it is a day established by a coalition of nongovernmental…
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Follow @hrw //--> Shin Dong-hyuk is the only man born in one of North Korea’s camps for political prisoners, called kwan-li-so, who is known to have escaped. In the camp, he was forced to do back-breaking labor and went hungry for days on end.…
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Sri Lanka— Summary of Main Issues of Concern The Sri Lankan government has failed to advance justice for the victims of the country’s 26-year-long armed conflict in the three years since the war ended. The government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation…
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April 2011

Although Singapore's constitution guarantees rights to free expression, peaceful assembly, and association, these rights are severely restricted in practice. Government-dominated control of media outlets is exacerbated by an interlocking system of laws…
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October 2010

Singapore has been governed since 1959 by the People's Action Party (PAP), which currently occupies 82 of 84 parliamentary seats. During that period, the government has maintained a carefully crafted legal and policy structure that reinforces its power…