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Unsanitary Cells Prime Condition for Spreading Virus Outside Walls

(New York) – The unsanitary, overcrowded prisons and juvenile detention centers in most Latin American and Caribbean countries offer prime conditions for outbreaks of COVID-19 that could severely affect the health of detainees and of…
Inmates point from inside of La Modelo prison in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, March 22, 2020.
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End Containment Policy, Organize Transfers Now

 (Athens) – The Greek government and its European Union partners should urgently ensure that all asylum seekers on the Aegean islands are transferred to suitable accommodation on the mainland or relocated to other EU countries as winter approaches…
Asylum seekers outside their tent in the "Olive Grove", a makeshift camp outside Moria camp on the island of Lesbos on October 31, 2018.
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Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
News
  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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As European and Ukrainian leaders gather in Brussels, it's time to highlight the need for further protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Ukraine.

On 9 July, Brussels will host the 20th EU-Ukraine Summit, the annual exercise when Kyiv and the European block highlight their strong bilateral relations. No doubt, the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, and European Union leaders…
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk arrive for a joint news conference following the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev, Ukraine, July 13, 2017.
News

Romania Should Rescind Discrimination Against Gay Spouse

Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton finally have a chance to celebrate. The same-sex couple married in Belgium in 2010, but decided they wanted to live in Adrian’s native Romania (Clai is American). The kicker – Romania, which does not…
Members of Romania's gay community attend the GayFest Parade 2011 in Bucharest June 4, 2011.
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In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
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After everything that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experienced in 2017 — from roundups and torture in Chechnya to antigay witch hunts in Egypt and Indonesia, closure of queer-friendly health facilities in…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

What Happens When a Government Does Not Recognize Your Same-Sex Marriage

For most married European citizens it is simple: the European Union generally allows non-EU spouses of citizens to live and work anywhere in its jurisdiction if they accompany their EU citizen partner. All you need to do is…
People walk behind the European Union's flag during the annual gay parade in Budapest July 5, 2008.
News

Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
News

Transgender Woman Helps People ‘Searching for Answers’

I was in Colombia last week to speak at an event about my work for Human Rights Watch with a focus on homophobic and transphobic bullying. I was to be interviewed by Brigitte Baptiste, who I had never met. When I took my seat in front of hundreds of…
Brigitte Baptiste (L) and Human Rights Watch LGBT Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich, Colombia, February 2017.
News

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.
News
Democracy must be grounded in human rights. To many, that is obvious, but increasingly, we see some in Europe suggesting that democracy is about merely winning elections and then doing whatever the voters are deemed to want.  Democracy, for them, becomes…
Kenneth Roth Headshot
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Landmark Ruling Ends Legal Uncertainty, Strengthens LGBT Rights

(New York) – The Colombian Constitutional Court ended years of uncertainty for same-sex couples and bolstered the rights of LGBT people when it upheld the validity of same-sex marriage on April 28, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today…
Protesters wave rainbow flags and advocate for LGBT rights outside of the Congress building in Bogotá.
News

Detention Conditions, Lack of Treatment Increase Suffering

(Paris) – Thousands of men and women with psychosocial disabilities in French prisons are at risk of suicide or harming themselves because of the neglect of their physical and mental health, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. …
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“I only read about LGBT people because I knew Human Rights Watch was coming to interview me,” a teacher in Tokyo told me last November while I was researching bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students in Japan’s schools. …
A 20 year old Japanese woman who was bullied by her classmates in junior high school holds a notebook displaying the message...
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LGBT Rights, Independent Groups Threatened

(Brussels) – Leaders of the European Union, France, Germany, and Switzerland should raise pressing human rights concerns and seek commitments to address them from Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambaev, Human Rights Watch said today. The Kyrgyzstan leader…
News

Condemns Violence, Bias Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

(Geneva) – The UN Human Rights Council resolution passed on September 26, 2014, to combat violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a critically important achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal…
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Dear African and European decision-makers, Ahead of the 4th European Union (EU)-Africa Summit on April 2-3, 2014 in Brussels, African and European civil society call on you to ensure that human rights are put at the centre of discussions aimed at “…