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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…
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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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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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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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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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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…
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New Bill Officially Gives Youths Sent to Prison for Life an Opportunity for Parole

In an important step forward for juvenile justice, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill giving young offenders in California a second chance. Human Rights Watch and others campaigned for years against California’s extreme juvenile sentencing, and…
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Soldiers Vacated Schools They Occupied Following a Human Rights Watch Investigation

Imagine sending your children to a school occupied by soldiers. Imagine that the first person they saw at school was a man with a semi-automatic rifle, not their teacher. They would study near stored weapons, ammunition, and even detained prisoners. You…
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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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A chance to earn parole for California’s Sara Kruzan

During his last day in office, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the prison sentence of one of the state’s most egregiously sentenced victims of child sex trafficking. Sara Kruzan, sentenced to life in prison without parole at the age of…
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Ending abuses by teachers in Senegal's Quranic schools

In response to a Human Rights Watch investigation, Senegalese authorities have begun enforcing a law prohibiting anyone from forcing a child to beg. Since we released our report on widespread abuses taking place at Quranic boys’ schools, ten teachers who…