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Rebuke of International Criminal Court Jurisdiction is Alarming

The International Criminal Court (ICC) last week handed down a historic ruling  confirming that the court’s prosecutor has the power to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity  in Palestine. After half a century of impunity since…
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, November 7, 2019. 
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ABC Investigation Exposes Alleged 2012 War Crimes in Afghanistan

(Sydney) – Australia’s Defence Department should reexamine previously dismissed cases of alleged summary executions and other war crimes in Afghanistan in light of new evidence, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Defence…
Australian SAS search operation in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, in May 2012. Screenshot from ABC News, Four Corners, March 16, 2020.
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Targeting Violators Abroad Promotes Accountability

(Sydney) – The Australian government should introduce a new law to allow targeted sanctions against serious human rights violators abroad, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to parliament’s human rights subcommittee. The proposed law…
 In this Feb. 13, 2019, file photo Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses media at Parliament House in Canberra.
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Government Should Pursue Full Investigations, Fair Trials

The Australian government is taking an important step by helping eight Australian children of suspects of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) return home from northeast Syria. The children were held for months without charge under horrific…
Rusafa Central Criminal Court in Baghdad.
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Will Deter Abuses, Promote Accountability

(Sydney) – The Australian government should require human rights vetting for all foreign military personnel who receive Australian training, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Defence Minister Christopher Pyne. The government should adopt…
The Philippine Navy band welcomes the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessel Her Majesty's Australian Ship (HMAS) Adelaide (III) upon arrival for a goodwill visit as part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Joint Task Group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, at
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Case Studies of Colombia, United Kingdom, Georgia, Guinea

(The Hague) – The prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has important leverage to encourage countries to investigate and prosecute grave international crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
Relatives hold pictures of their beloved during a March 6, 2009 march in Bogota against the “false positive” killings and enforced disappearances.
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Nonpartisan Groups Should Not Be Registered as ‘Political Campaigners’

(Sydney) – A proposed Australian law will limit social activist organizations from using foreign funding for advocacy purposes, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to Australia’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. A…
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attends the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Danang, Vietnam on November 11, 2017.
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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Ruth, 29, shows me a fresh wound, slowly healing, on the top of her head, while she stays at a safe house in Port Moresby. “About 6.30am. I was getting ready for work. We had an argument ... My husband threw a rock. My head was broken. No one helped,” she…
A woman holding a child looks down the valley from Kassam Pass.
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Domestic violence occurs everywhere, and in most countries it’s a criminal offense. But in Papua New Guinea - a Pacific nation near Australia experiencing a virtual epidemic of domestic violence - beating your wife often isn’t treated as a crime, although…
woman holding a child
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“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
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Ensure Perpetrators Prosecuted, Health Services for Victims of Rape, Domestic Violence

(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s laws on violence against women are not adequately protecting victims displaced by the armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face…
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Peace Without Justice Not Sustainable

Colombia will only achieve sustainable peace by protecting victims’ right to justice, Human Rights Watch said today in advance of peace talks between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. The talks will…
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It’s the Americas’ largest reunion. Happening every three years, the Summit of the Americas brings together the heads-of-state of the region to talk about pressing concerns. Over the weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, the theme will be “Connecting the…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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(Washington, DC) – The killing of four captive members of the Colombian security forces by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) shows the guerrilla group’s blatant disregard for human life and the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…
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Interviews Expose Fatal Flaws in Government Approach

Colombia’s demobilization process is strengthening the power of paramilitary groups without furthering a genuine peace, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Drawing on interviews with numerous demobilized paramilitaries, the report is…