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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. 
News

Bill Would Have Criminalized Wide Range of Peaceful Expression

In a win for online freedom in Iraq, in February the Iraqi parliament said it will stop pushing forward a cybercrimes draft law until after it is amended so that it protects rather than infringes upon free speech. As it stood, the law would have…
Woman holding up a sign in Arabic
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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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Hospital is First Institution to Make This Change and Apologize for Harm Done

In a victory for intersex people, a hospital in Chicago pledged earlier this year to stop performing medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex traits. The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital also became the first…
Intersex activist Sean Saifa Wall protests outside Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago for Intersex Awareness Day on October 26, 2017.
News
Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst acts of state-sanctioned violence against Black people in United States history. After years of fighting for justice, massacre survivors and descendants of…
Reverend Robert Turner of the historic Mount Vernon African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, damaged in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
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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.
News

Those Arrested Have a Right to Speedy and Fair Trails

Several members of Iraq’s parliament and the province’s deputy governor visited prisons near Mosul, Iraq, calling what they found a “humanitarian catastrophe.” This happened two days after Human Rights Watch released research detailing…
Women’s cell at Tal Kayf prison, taken in April 2019 and shared confidentially with Human Rights Watch, shows extreme overcrowding at the prison.
News

Issues Behind Their Detention Remain

In response to an outcry about the horrific conditions of a US Border Patrol holding station in Clint, Texas, the US Department of Homeland Security announced in June that nearly 250 children would be moved into facilities for children operated by the US…
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This spring, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have prevented transgender students from using restrooms, locker rooms, and showers that match their gender identity. With the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South…
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Julia adopted a baby girl born four months premature in 2008. The baby weighed just 1.5 pounds and had to be resuscitated. Julia and her partner longed to have more time with their baby during the 110 days she spent in the hospital, but had to save their…
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In a move that will benefit those living with HIV and AIDS in Mississippi, the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decided to overhaul the state’s federally funded program meant to provide housing to people with AIDS. This comes roughly four years…
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Last summer, thousands of children, many only 12 or 13 years old, worked in US tobacco fields and curing barns, often suffering acute nicotine poisoning from their contact with the plants. But next summer, the picture may be different, thanks to a rapid…
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Is some sense of sanity finally slipping into the torture debate in the US? Yesterday, after years of criticism for failing to call it by its name, the New York Times finally decided it would use the word “torture” to describe when US interrogators use…
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Child tobacco workers in the United States have some new allies in Congress. Today, on World Day against Child Labor, 17 US Senators sent a letter to the world's largest tobacco companies, urging them to prohibit hazardous child labor in their supply…
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After years of foot-dragging on climate change, the US has finally taken a first step to start becoming a leader on addressing the crisis – something it could have done sooner.  On Monday, US President Barack Obama drew a line in the sand on climate…
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US Border Protection agents should not be permitted to fire shots at a moving vehicle "unless vehicle occupants are attempting to use deadly force" against them. Nor should they be allowed to shoot at people throwing rocks or other objects on the Mexican…
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This week, the European Union’s top court invalidated the EU’s data retention law, calling into question whether blanket data retention can ever be consistent with human rights requirements. This decision is a major victory for digital rights groups which…
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When Samantha learned she was pregnant, she hoped for a healthy delivery, a happy baby, and a smooth return to work. Life did not go according to plan. Samantha had a C-section, and the wound got infected. She took eight weeks of leave from work, much of…
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As the children’s rights advocate for Human Rights Watch, one of the questions I’m asked most frequently is why the US has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Currently, only two other countries – South Sudan and Somalia – have yet to…
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In recent years the United States federal government has increasingly tapped local law enforcement to perform the federal functions of apprehending and detaining undocumented immigrants. But a growing number of communities, police chiefs, and sheriffs are…