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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

Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex.
 
 The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
News

Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
News

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.
News

RE: Passage of “Safe Abortion Act”

On February 4, 2016, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and five Sierra Leonean rights groups sent this letter to the President of Sierra Leone, urging him to sign the bill passed by Parliament in December 2015, which would permit access to…
Video
(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,…
News
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
Pregnant teenagers and their right to education are in the spotlight again, this time as Sierra Leone tries to ban “visibly pregnant” girls from taking their exams in primary and secondary school. The “ban” comes just two weeks after President Jacob Zuma…
News

Protect Health Workers, Limit Quarantines, Promote Transparency

(Nairobi) – West African governments should ensure rights protections as a crucial element in controlling the unprecedented Ebola epidemic ravaging the region, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed its sympathy to the families,…
News
Sometimes Ebola, or cholera or other infectious diseases, emerge and are brought under control, but the current Ebola crisis in West Africa continues to grow. What makes the critical difference in quickly controlling an outbreak? Luck plays a part. Where…