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Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch.  The report, “The War in Catatumbo: Abuses by Armed Groups Against…
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Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished

(Bogotá) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report, “…
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Families Displaced as Groups Dispute Control of River

(Washington, DC) – Two armed groups competing for control over stretches of Colombia’s San Juan river are committing serious abuses against Afro-Colombian and indigenous Wounaan riverside communities, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Wounaan people gather in a community building by the San Juan river, in Chocó, Colombia, March 2017.
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Protect Students, Schools by Joining Safe Schools Declaration

(Berlin) – Hostilities in eastern Ukraine have damaged or destroyed hundreds of schools, many of which were used by parties to the conflict for military purposes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  …
Cover imageA former student, 13, stands in a damaged school in Vuhlehirsk.
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Late in the evening of 1 September, an Iraqi air force plane dropped a bomb on a school in Alam, near Tikrit, which had recently fallen under the control of Islamic State (IS). Dozens of displaced families were sheltering there. The immense explosion and…
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“Is this what they call a ceasefire?” a woman asked me as workers cleaned debris from a small grocery store in central Donetsk in eastern Ukraine that had been destroyed in a recent rocket attack. Since September 5, there has supposedly been a…
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At least 300 Civilians Killed since May, Many in Indiscriminate Bombings

(Berlin) – Unlawful government and insurgent attacks in and around Luhansk are contributing to rising civilian casualties. According to a morgue doctor in Luhansk, explosive weapons have killed more than 300 civilians in the city since May. …
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Forces Should Respect Special Protection Requirements

(Berlin) – Insurgent forces in eastern Ukraine have threatened medical staff, stolen and destroyed medical equipment and hospital furniture, and compromised the ability of civilian patients to receive treatment, Human Rights Watch said today. Insurgent…
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The use of Grad rockets in populated areas is a violation of the laws of war.

"When we first heard one explosion we ran to the basement. And then suddenly, boom, boom, boom - countless explosions. I will never forget that sound." With a broken hand and shrapnel still lodged in her chest, Sveta, 55, had just survived a…
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Stop Use of Grads in Populated Areas

(Donetsk) – Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more in insurgent-controlled areas of Donetsk and its suburbs in at least four attacks…
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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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Known Child Recruiters Promoted to Key Government, Military Posts

(New York) - The United Nations Security Council should impose sanctions on governments and armed groups for using child soldiers, sexual violence against children, and attacks on schools, and should promote effective prosecution of the commanders…
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U.N. Security Council to Discuss Colombia’s Child Soldiers

Colombia’s armed groups are among the worst violators of international norms against the recruitment and use of child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today. The Colombian government should ratify and implement the United Nations treaty prohibiting this…
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Over the last five years, the global campaign to stop the use of child soldiers has garnered an impressive series of successes, including new international legal standards, action by the UN Security Council and regional bodies, and pledges from various…
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By Joanne Mariner, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch's Americas Division Published in FindLaw.com September 29, 2003     When Paula Calderón was fourteen, her mother died. A few weeks after the funeral, Paula’s father brought her to a guerrilla…
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(Santafé de Bogotá, September 18, 2003) -- More than 11,000 children fight in Colombia's armed conflict, one of the highest totals in the world, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Both guerrilla and paramilitary forces rely on child…