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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News

“Baby S” Runs Risk of Being Stateless

A child born to Bulgarian and British mothers has been denied Bulgarian citizenship and is now at risk of being stateless. “Baby S” was born in December 2019 in Spain and although the baby’s birth certificate was issued by Spain with both mothers…
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News

Allow Access to Independent Forensic Experts

(Washington, DC) – Authorities in Paraguay destroyed crucial evidence in the killing of two 11-year-old Argentinian girls by state forces and violated their own investigative protocols and international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said…
Lilian Mariana Villalba in November 2019. Photo courtesy of her family.
News
The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
News
  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
News

Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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News

Clarify Legal Basis Or Release

(Budapest) – Bulgarian authorities should clarify the legal basis for the continued detention of an Australian citizen, Jock Palfreeman, or release him immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. Palfreeman appears to have been…
Bulgaria's prosecutor general Sotir Tsatsarov, right, speaks during a press conference in Sofia, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
News

Halt Attacks on Bulgarian Helsinki Committee; Dismiss Bogus Request

(Berlin) – Bulgaria’s prosecutor general should reject a call from a political party in the country’s governing coalition to disband the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), Human Rights Watch said today. The party has been in legal battles for…
Bulgaria's prosecutor general Sotir Tsatsarov, right, speaks during a press conference in Sofia, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
News
A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
News

European Bodies Should Act to Counter Misleading, Dangerous Judgment

The reported rape and murder of journalist Victoria Marinova, 30, in Bulgaria this weekend raises concerns about threats to media freedom. But it also serves as a stark reminder that Bulgaria should prioritize efforts to combat violence against women.…
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News

A Story of Rights, Fights and Hope

This is the story of how a key political body within the Council of Europe sought to circumvent a United Nations Convention protecting the rights of people with disabilities. It’s also about how one of its members, Bulgaria, is publicly…
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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.
News

Human Rights Watch letter to Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa on Venezuela’s Crisis

Dear Minister Nin Novoa, I am writing to respectfully urge you to adhere to the joint statement on Venezuela’s crisis delivered by Peru on July 6, 2018, at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The statement, which was a regional initiative…
News

Plan Would Link EU Funds to Rule of Law, Functioning Judiciary

It’s not every day the European Commission proposes something truly ground-breaking. But yesterday, when the EU announced a new plan to link EU funds given to member states to the health of their judiciary, it did just that.…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
News

Paraguay’s harsh abortion law endangers adolescent girls

Last week, a 14-year-old girl in Paraguay died during childbirth. She became pregnant after she was raped by a 37-year-old man, and she died while doctors performed an emergency cesarean section, trying desperately to save her and her baby, after she’d…
Paraguayan social activists protest in front of the Health Ministry to demand the end of violence against women and better health care for women, as the world celebrates "International Women's Day" in Asuncion, Paraguay, March 8, 2017.
News
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".
News
On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
News
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.