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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
201911arms_robots_stunt
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Nepal Was Far Ahead of Its Neighbors in Protecting Reproductive Rights

I am the daughter of a formidable campaigner for women’s reproductive rights in Nepal. Decades ago, when such issues were not part of the playbook for development activists, my mother, a medical doctor, started setting up family…
Women activists lie down on the road during a protest demanding women’s rights in the constitution in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 7, 2015.
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‘Yes’ Vote Ends 35 Years of Shame and Secrecy for Irish Women and Girls

The first vote I ever cast was in one of the six referendums that Ireland has had on abortion. Today, I watched with tears of joy as it became clear that two-thirds of Irish people voted to repeal the 35-year constitutional ban on…
Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.
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Women Were Incorrectly Cleared as Cancer-Free

Cervical cancer need not be a death sentence. Between vaccination, routine screening, timely follow up, and early detection, cervical cancer is preventable and highly curable. When a woman dies from cervical cancer, something went wrong. For at least 17…
Vicky Phelan speaks on the Ray D'Arcy Show. Phelan was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014, although a screening test from 2011 should have found strong indications of the presence of cancer.
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Plan Would Link EU Funds to Rule of Law, Functioning Judiciary

It’s not every day the European Commission proposes something truly ground-breaking. But yesterday, when the EU announced a new plan to link EU funds given to member states to the health of their judiciary, it did just that.…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
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Other Council of Europe Countries Should Back LGBT Rights

As of March 1, Finland will allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing to thirteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws.Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement on February 21, affirmed…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Women in Ireland are live tweeting their periods to Prime Minister Enda Kenny, in protest of the state’s long-held legislative control over their bodies. One woman detailed the length of time she’d been menstruating and the level of flow. Another…
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Lydia Foy, a now-retired dentist, witnessed the end of her 22-year struggle this week as Ireland’s senate passed the Gender Recognition Bill, ground-breaking legislation that will make Ireland the fifth country in the world to allow identity-based legal…
Lydia Foy 2015-7