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How Ten Years of Advocacy and Incremental Changes Add Up

In Greece, a recent high-profile court ruling and policy change mark momentous human rights victories for migrants and children. On October 7, an Athens court ruled that the country’s far-right xenophobic political party, Golden Dawn, whose members…
A woman sits with her children in Victoria Square in Athens, Greece, awaiting transfer after being evicted from their place of residence, July 20, 2020.
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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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Published in: Open Democracy Many human rights defenders around the world are in jail for standing up for the rights of others. Azimjon Askarov is a well-known human rights defender from southern Kyrgyzstan. He is also a writer and an artist. In…
Ethnic Uzbek journalist Azimzhan Askarov, who was arbitrarily arrested, tortured, convicted after an unfair trial and jailed for life looks through metal bars during hearings at the Bishkek regional court, Kyrgyzstan.
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  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
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How has the situation on Lesbos changed since your last visit? When I was here in 2016, I couldn’t imagine things being worse. We saw a lawless situation in Moria refugee camp. There were around 6,000 people in the camp,…
Migrants who arrived yesterday to Greece from Turkey eat bread as they try to warm themselves at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, March 6, 2020.
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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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How did Bellingcat start? It was almost accidental. In 2011, I’d been working for a company that housed refugees. That company lost its government contract and had to close, so I ended up in an office by myself waiting for everything to wind…
poster bellingcat
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Understanding the Role of Encryption in Your Everyday Life

Why did you decide to create a game? We really wanted to build something that felt accessible, interesting, and reached out to new audiences who might not have realized how encryption was built into the gadgets, apps and websites they use.…
Locked phone
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Bangladesh’s Monsoon Season Heightens Perils for Rohingya Refugees

Can you describe what you saw at the camp in May?   It was the beginning of the rainy season and it was pretty wet. We were slipping and sliding around, and it was pretty treacherous in places, and I know it’s only gotten worse since…
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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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What was your plan when you arrived on the ground in Burma? We’ve been documenting this crisis since the very beginning. We knew there had been sexual violence in some of the massacres we’d looked into, but we didn’t know how widespread it was…
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Over the past two years, Poland’s government has tightened its control over the courts, the media, and domestic rights groups. Thousands of outraged citizens have staged protests nationwide against these moves, even successfully…
Protesters gather in front of the Parliament building during an opposition protest in Warsaw, Poland, July 16, 2017
News

Swedish and German Authorities Pursuing Cases for War Crimes in Syria

What kind of cases have been brought to trial so far? To date, seven cases for war crimes in Syria were brought to trial, three in Sweden and four in Germany. These few cases have mostly been against members of the Islamic State [ISIS], Jabhat…
Illustration © 2017 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch
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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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Detained and Questioned Trying to Interview Construction Workers in Volgograd

While investigating the exploitation of workers in Russia building stadiums for the 2018 World Cup, Human Rights Watch consultant Semyon Simonov was detained by Russian police and unidentified security forces. They held him for three…
Construction workers on the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia that will host 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup matches. October 3, 2016.
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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.