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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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Libya is finally set to begin collecting evidence of crimescommitted by militias from the town of Misrata and people from Tawergha during the 2011 uprising to oust Muammar Gaddafi. This may be a first, hopeful step towards justice – but much needs to be…
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Join Social Media Campaign to Save Lives

Lead poisoning in Zamfara State, Nigeria, has taken the lives of over 400 children and left thousands more with permanent life-long disability. In May, President Goodluck Jonathan pledged $4 million to clean up the lead contamination. Today, that money…
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Nigeria Releases Funds to Clean the Environment, Put Safer Mining Practices in Place

Amina Murtala is only 20, but she has already lost three children to lead poisoning – a deadly consequence of small-scale gold mining in her home state of Zamfara in Nigeria. Human Rights Watch researched the impact of lead poisoning on communities near…
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Government Pledged to Not Use Mines and to Help Clear Mines

Last week in Libya, Human Rights Watch witnessed the destruction of nearly 100 Chinese-made antivehicle landmines – weapons that kill or maim civilians, often children, long after the fighting has stopped. Human Rights Watch discovered a year ago that…
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Following intense advocacy by Human Rights Watch, Democratic leaders from the House of Representatives announced on June 29 that they would oppose a US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) until Colombia shows evidence of sustained results in addressing…
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On March 2, the Libyan government, following a direct request by Human Rights Watch, released 132 political prisoners, many of whom had been unfairly tried and detained for more than seven years. The prisoners were pardoned five weeks after Human Rights…
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Ahead of the release of a Human Rights Watch report on the arbitrary detention of women and girls in "social rehabilitation" facilities, the Libyan government in meetings with executive director Kenneth Roth promised to investigate these abuses. Aisha al…
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On the heels of a damning report by Human Rights Watch, Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo reversed a previous government position and publicly admitted that Nigerian police officers have committed killings and torture.
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In response to our reports, the United States is paying closer attention to human rights concerns in the process of paramilitary demobilization in Colombia. Our work helped to spark interest in the issue by the U.S. Congress, which led to an unprecedented…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should recommend the expansion of the United Nation’s human rights work in Colombia, including an increase in the number of permanent staff of the Office of the High Commissioner in Colombia, renegotiation of…
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In the days leading up to the appeal court judgment in the case against Amina Lawal, Human Rights Watch received a barrage of phone calls. From around the world came a huge wave of sympathy for the Nigerian woman who had been found guilty of adultery and…
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In Colombia’s armed conflict, more than 11,000 child combatants fight for guerrilla and paramilitary groups, and account for one-fourth of the groups’ armed forces. The Colombian government took new steps toward ending the use of child combatants on…
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Human Rights Watch effectively urged the US Congress to continue to require the State Department to certify Colombia's compliance with human rights conditions twice annually (not the reduction to once proposed by Republicans in the House of…
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Human Rights Watch assisted several threatened human rights prosecutors in Colombia, one of whom became the first Colombian prosecutor involved with human rights cases to receive direct assistance from the United States to gain political asylum and…
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On November 8, in Bogota, Colombia, Human Rights Watch released "A Wrong Turn: The Record of the Colombian Attorney General's Office." The report documented how Colombia's Attorney General, Luis Camilo Osorio, has undermined or derailed key human rights…
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Along with two other leading human rights groups (AI & WOLA), Human Rights Watch issued a document refuting the State Department's certification that Colombia is in compliance with the human rights conditions of U.S.…