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Cluster Munitions Used, Vacuum Bombs Spotted in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues, Human Rights Watch has been busy investigating what’s happening on the ground – including scrutinizing the weapons being used in the conflict. Under the laws of war, parties to the conflict must do everything feasible to…
An apartment building explodes
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Facilitate Civilians’ Access to Safety; Urgently Restore Water, Electricity

Civilians in Ukraine’s southeastern coastal city of Mariupol have not had access to running water, electricity, or heat since March 2, 2022 when Russian forces surrounded the city, as part of a larger offensive, Human Rights Watch said today. Acute…
Smoke rises after shelling by Russian forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 4, 2022.
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Lama Fakih, Who Lives in Lebanon and Oversees Work on Conflict, Targeted by Government Attack

Surveillance technology sold to governments by the firm NSO Group has repeatedly been used to target the phones of journalists, activists, politicians, and diplomats. The software, called Pegasus, allows attackers full access to the phone’s camera,…
Lama Fakih
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New Report Shows More Companies Could Help Produce mRNA Vaccines

The coordinator of the AccessIBSA project, which campaigns for access to medicines in India, Brazil, and South Africa, and a vaccine expert from the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) Access Campaign published a report today…
Vaccine Lab Worker
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But Mining and Refining the Metal Often Involves Human Rights Abuses

Sales of electric cars are surging – with sales predicted to rise from 2 million in 2018 to 12 million in 2025 – as people choose to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and better protect the environment. To keep electric cars lightweight and ensure…
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Why Poverty and Inequality are Human Rights Issues

Human Rights Watch has long documented how, when people live in poverty, their ability to exercise all their human rights erodes. Because of this, we have pushed governments to end abuses that contribute to poverty. We have recently decided to…
girls from the Kalokol Girls Primary School fetch water
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Civilians Bear the Brunt of Renewed Fighting

Libya began descending into chaos after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Could you summarize the complex situation in Libya today? The latest conflict started in April 2019, when an armed group in eastern Libya called…
Government of National Accord fighters take positions during clashes with east-based fighters from the Libyan National Army at Al-Yarmouk frontline in Tripoli, Libya on August 29, 2019.
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Being Outside is a Health Risk for Some of Zambia’s Children

How did you first become aware of the problem in Kabwe? We learned about it from an environmental group several years ago but became interested in doing our own research after seeing a young person from Kabwe speak at a United Nations event.…
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Left Destitute and Sick, Communities Defy Police Abuse and Threats to Assert their Rights

What changes for a community once a mine starts operating? Most mining in South Africa takes place in rural areas, where people live off the land and their livestock. Mining often forces people to leave the land they use for farming and grazing…
Coal mine in Somkhele viewed from Ocilwane village in Fuleni, KwaZulu-Natal. © 2018 Rob Symons
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Company to Stop Listing Properties in Unlawful Israeli Settlements

How was this project conceived? Years of our research has shown that businesses operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank both benefit from and contribute to serious violations of international law and human rights. We…
Listings by the global travel companies Airbnb and Booking.com for properties in unlawful Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
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Brazil’s Industrial Farmers Spray Dangerous Chemicals Near Schools, Villages

  What’s happening with pesticides in Brazil?  Brazil’s an agriculture powerhouse in terms of the amount of land under farming. The farming of soy, sugarcane, cotton, and corn is done at an industrial scale and pesticides are used…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Whenever a shocking crime is reported in the news in Brazil, social media fills with calls for laws for harsher punishment. That is especially true when the suspects are adolescents. Given Brazil´s high levels of violence, it is…
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  What is it like in Recife and Campina Grande, the cities in northeastern Brazil that you visited? AK: What was shocking to me was the vast inequality. There are these beautiful high-rises and a beautiful beach in Recife, and then there…
Raquel bathes her daughter Heloisa, a girl with Zika syndrome born in April 2016. Raquel says she cannot afford the medicines her twin daughters need for convulsions.
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Equatorial Guinea has the highest GDP per capita of any African country. What’s gone wrong?         About 20 years ago the country discovered oil, and virtually overnight it went from being one of the poorest…
After spending several million dollars on government buildings in Malabo, the capital, and Bata, the nation’s economic center, Equatorial Guinea is pouring billions of dollars into building a new administrative capital, Oyala, in the middle of the jungle.
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Secondary Education Inaccessible for Many Children in Tanzania

Two in five adolescents are out of school in Tanzania, although the country has declared education a national priority and abolished school fees and financial contributions. Lack of money is, however, only one of the reasons why education ends after…
An unfinished science laboratory next to a classroom at a secondary school in Shinyanga region, northern Tanzania.
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The tendency in many countries to congregate people with disabilities into institutions creates heightened vulnerabilities that can complicate the task of civilian protection. History is replete with examples, for instance, the slaughter of civilians with…
Naima, a 70-year-old woman with a disability from Aleppo, Syria, with her daughter, Hasne, in front of the shower area in Cherso camp, Thessaloniki, Greece. The showers are not accessible for people who use a wheelchair.
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Human Rights Rollbacks Under UN Security Council Resolution 2178

A version of this white paper was published in December 2016 in International Community Law Review, Volume 18, special edition, Foreign Fighters and Foreign Terrorist Fighters: An International Law and Human Rights Perspective. …
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Even after five years of horror in Syria, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, the extent of atrocities in Aleppo is hitting new highs as Syrian government forces advance on the rebel-held eastern part of the city. Syria’s commercial…
Ruins of a residential house that was struck in an aerial attack, killing at least 24 civilians, on September 27, 2016.
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