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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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Governments around the world have gathered in Brussels to show political and financial support for the Afghan government’s efforts at democratic reforms and to promote economic development. The meeting couldn’t have come a more crucial time. European…
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“Sebastian” wore the most dazzling white school-uniform shirt, matched with the dirtiest of sneakers. We met inside a church in the town of Mweso in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, because he wanted to tell me about what…
Congolese rebel fighter abandoned classroom
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Surprise turned to confusion, then to horror, when the children at Kiata primary school realized that the soldiers they had spotted at the bottom of the hill were heading for their school and its occupants. As the soldiers reached the hilltop…
2015-10-DRC-CRD-munitions in school-EN
Report
Glossary of Armed Forces and Groups in Eastern Congo A number of non-state armed groups, as well as the Congolese armed forces, committed serious abuses against civilians in eastern Congo between 2012 and 2014. Some of these groups are…
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Join International Safe Schools Declaration

(Kinshasa) – The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo should increase protection for students and schools in areas of the country affected by armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should endorse and…
Congolese rebel fighter abandoned classroom
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Military Use Risks Students Lives, Safety, Education

(New York) – The use of schools and other education institutions for military purposes by armed forces and non-state armed groups during wartime endangers students and their education around the world, said the Global Coalition to Protect Education from…
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Security Council Should Impose Sanctions for Targeting Children, Teachers

(New York) – Armed forces and armed groups that attack schools and teachers should face consequences from the United Nations Security Council, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said today. The UN Secretary-General’s annual…
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Stand up for Persecuted Human Rights Activists; Shut Guantanamo

(New York) - The award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama should encourage him to apply his stated principles to both foreign and domestic human rights policy, Human Rights Watch said today. The Nobel committee awarded the prize…
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UN Security Council Should Demand Government Hold Soldiers Responsible

(New York) - The United Nations Security Council, visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo today, should vigorously condemn war crimes by Congolese army soldiers in the eastern part of the country, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch urged the…
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Strengthening the Security Council’s Response to Sexual Violence and Attacks on Education in Armed Conflict

For a full decade, the UN Security Council has addressed the severe abuses that children experience in armed conflict. Its response has included a series of six resolutions (1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539, and 1612), the creation of a specialized working…
Report
The Christmas Massacres LRA attacks on Civilians in Northern Congo Map 1: Democratic Republic of Congo Map 2: Location of Christmas Massacres Map 3: Villages Attacked by the LRA in Doruma Area I. Summary…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
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Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture Offer No Protection From Abuse

The United Nations’ ruling that Sweden violated the global torture ban in its involvement in the CIA transfer of an asylum seeker to Egypt is an important step toward establishing accountability for European governments complicit in illegal US renditions…
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Council of Europe Deadline Is Today; European Parliament to Begin Hearings

European governments must provide detailed information about their participation in or knowledge of the Central Intelligence Agency’s unlawful detention and transfer of terrorist suspects. Two European bodies are investigating the CIA’s activities in…