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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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Thousands of Migrants to be Freed After Being Held in Abysmal Conditions

Hundreds of migrants, mostly from Ethiopia, held in appalling conditions in Saudi detention centers will be released and returned home. In December, Human Rights Watch research found that the workers were subjected to ill-treatment and deplorable…
Ethiopian migrants arrive back in Ethiopia after months in Saudi detention camps
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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.
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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…
201906us_immigration_child
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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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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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“It cannot be over-emphasized that when it comes to democracy, liberty of thought and expression is a cardinal value that is of paramount significance.” With these words, India’s Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment on March 24, struck down Section 66A…
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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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Labor Day looms. If you’re lucky, you’ll be squeezing in one more day at the beach, grilling barbeque, or taking an afternoon nap. Despite being originally intended to support basic labor protections such as an eight-hour workday and to honor the working…
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This week I had expected to be writing about a defamation case brought by Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Committee against an independent journalist in Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan. To my surprise, the committee withdrew its complaint, and the court…
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For five years, an illegal lead smelter has polluted a small Kenyan community, the toxic lead poisoning children and even killing smelter workers. As of yesterday, Kenya’s government is finally taking action. Celestine had worried for years about her son…
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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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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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During a rally on Sunday, March 30, for Malta’s Freedom Day, which marks the country’s independence from British rule, Malta’s prime minister made a significant pledge: he committed to end the detention of migrant children. Malta — a key entrance point…
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Finally, a voice of reason in Russia’s legal system on the Pussy Riot case. Today Russia’s Supreme Court ordered the Pussy Riot verdict to be re-examined by the Moscow City Court. The legal representatives for one of the two still-imprisoned Pussy Riot…
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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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Tomorrow is the International Day of the Girl: a day to reflect on how girls are doing the world over and what is holding them back. We now know that a fundamental factor to determine whether a girl can enjoy her rights throughout her life is at what age…
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Since 2000 the number of child laborers worldwide has dropped by one-third, from 248 million to 168 million, according to new statistics just released by the International Labor Organization (ILO). While the progress is encouraging, the number of children…
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Suzanne, an 11-year-old who lives in Mali, eagerly explained how she handles deadly mercury to mine gold to help support her family. “Once the ore is panned, you put a bit of mercury in. You rub the ore and the mercury with your two hands,” Suzanne told…