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Emergency Housing for LGBT Youth in Tirana, Albania

The psychologist at the LGBT youth shelter waited for me in a small side street in the city center of Tirana, Albania’s capital. “No one knows our exact address, we want to avoid arson and havoc,” she told me.
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LGBT Program Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich (2nd from Left) with the psychologist and the social workers from an LGBT youth shelter, STREHA, in Tirana, Albania.
News

LGBT Rights Groups Bring Legal Case to Fulfil Long-Delayed Promise

Last week Kristi Pinderi, executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT, announced his organization would file a lawsuit requesting recognition of same-sex partnerships.
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Kristi Pinderi, the executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT.
News

UN Experts Should Address Issue During Review of Estonia’s Rights Record

This week, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child will review Estonia’s child rights record. It is crucial that this include child statelessness.
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Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. September 21, 2016.
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Estonia has again begun a new academic year. But what can Estonia do to help students in other countries who won’t be so lucky?
 
 Students such as 15-year-old “Amina,” who stepped outside of her classroom in northern Nigeria one morning to find a…
Children look through a destroyed classroom window at Yerwa Primary School, Maiduguri, Borno state, damaged by Boko Haram during attacks in 2010 and 2013. The school, established in 1915, was the first primary school in northeast Nigeria. © 2015 Bede Shep
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Urgent need to safeguard students, teachers and schools during armed conflict

Albanians older than 40 know about militarized schools. For years during communism, children took time from classes to march, dig, and shoot in preparation for an onslaught from the “imperialist West” or “revisionist East.” Last week they drew on that…
A boy stands in a classroom at his school after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa July 20, 2015.
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Statement delivered under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the adoption of the outcome of the UPR on Estonia, which reflected many important recommendations to address new and long-standing human rights concerns.
 
 We take note of Estonia’s stated commitment to improving human…
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(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
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UPR Submission on Estonia
 
 June 2015
 
 Summary 
 
 This submission highlights concerns about Estonia’s compliance with its international human rights obligations. It focuses on the persistent problem of statelessness,…
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Six years ago I was invited to Tirana, Albania’s capital, to meet with human rights activists who told me stories of rampant homophobia and a dire lack of legal protections for LGBT people. Yesterday, Albania took an important step forward combatting both…
News
On September 17, a court in Kosovo acquitted Fatmir Limaj, a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander and high-ranking politician, and nine others of war crimes related to the 1998 torture and killings of Serbian and Albanian civilians in a makeshift…
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Called for Violence Against Pride Paraders

(London) – The Albanian government should publicly reprimand Deputy Defense Minister Ekrem Spahiu for homophobic remarks and endorsing violence against people participating in a Gay Pride parade, Human Rights Watch said today. Asked what he thinks of…