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Despite their mandate to maintain peace and protect people in war-torn countries, some UN peacekeepers have themselves been abusers. Highly publicized allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic have…
Women walk by a United Nations peacekeeping armored vehicle guarding the outer perimeter of a school used as an electoral center at the end of the presidential and legislative elections, in the mostly muslim PK5 neighborhood of Bangui.
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Good news in the Central African Republic is rare. So it seemed strange to feel joy as I stood at dawn in the Muslim enclave of Yaloké watching 16 ethnic Peuhl cattle herders boarding a United Nations convoy heading for Cameroon. The Peuhl were smiling…
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Just last month, it seemed that the African peacekeeping troops in Bossangoa, Central African Republic, did little more than turn a profit selling cold beers to the local population. But today, those same troops courageously came to the rescue of people…
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In October, 2011, the Obama administration said it would send 100 US military advisers to central Africa to help the region’s armies combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a vicious Ugandan rebel group. Human Rights Watch has pressed the US government…
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Protecting the health of vulnerable, displaced people

This fall, the European Commission (EC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) began closing down lead-contaminated camps in Kosovo, where displaced Roma were living in abysmal health conditions for a decade. Human Rights Watch…
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New US law targets the Lord’s Resistance Army and supports the group’s victims

Human Rights Watch’s work to curb atrocities perpetrated by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group, took a major step forward in May, when the Obama administration agreed to actively help end the violence. New US legislation compels…
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Human Rights Watch report leads to arrests in Cuska killings

On May 14, 1999, during NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia, Serbian security forces descended on the small village of Cuska in western Kosovo. The armed men rounded up the villagers, all ethnic Albanians, killing some and demanding money and valuables…
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On October 30, 2008, justice for victims of atrocities committed during the course of Liberia's long and brutal years of armed conflict took a major step forward in a very unlikely location: Miami, Florida. On that afternoon, an American jury issued its…
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Following Human Rights Watch’s exposure of abuses against civilians by the Central African Republic’s (CAR) military, the government was forced to withdraw most of the Presidential Guard, abusive elite forces, back to their barracks in the capital city of…
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On June 20, the special war crimes court for Sierra Leone handed down its first three convictions of members of a rebel group, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. In her sentencing statement, the judge noted that the three convicted were “responsible…
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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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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was captured as he attempted to escape Nigeria on March 29, and he was transferred to the U.N.-backed war crimes court in Sierra Leone. Human Rights Watch played a leading role in pressing government and U.N.…
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On April 14, 2005, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the Western Balkans incorporating language written by Human Rights Watch on the importance of fair and effective domestic war crimes trials. Human Rights Watch has consistently pressed the…
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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 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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In early July, for the first time, the Serbian parliament adopted a potentially important new law for prosecuting war criminals. The law creates a new post of war crimes prosecutor and identifies a district court in Belgrade to judge war crimes cases.…
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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…