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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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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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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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In an important step toward justice for the victims of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, on February 27, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo named Ahmed Haroun and Ali Kosheib, the first suspects accused of committing war crimes and…
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For the past two years, Human Rights Watch has advocated to block Sudan’s ascension to the African Union (AU) presidency. On January 29 Sudan withdrew its bid for the presidency, despite being slated to occupy the post after being passed over for it last…
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Darfur Lawyer Defends Victims of Ethnic Oppression

Salih Mahmoud Osman, a lawyer who has defended and given free legal aid to hundreds of victims of human rights abuses in Darfur, Sudan for the past two decades will receive Human Rights Watch’s highest award on November 7. Osman, who is from the Darfur…
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African leaders attending the 53-nation African Union (A.U.) summit turned down Sudan's bid to lead the A.U. next year, announcing that Congo-Brazzaville will assume the leadership instead. Pressure to reject Sudan's bid came from leading human rights…
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Human Rights Watch played a key role in helping to stop the deportation of hundreds of Sudanese demonstrators who were violently removed from their Cairo encampment by Egyptian police. Approximately 3,000 Sudanese refugees and migrants lived in a…
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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 a historic step toward justice, the United Nations Security Council passed a late-night resolution referring Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 31, 2005. Human Rights Watch played a crucial role in building support for 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 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.…