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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. 
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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.
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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.
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  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
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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…
201911arms_robots_stunt
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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. “
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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…
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Other Council of Europe Countries Should Back LGBT Rights

As of March 1, Finland will allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing to thirteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws.Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement on February 21, affirmed…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Financial Crisis Threatens Basic Protections

(Washington, D.C.) – Member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) should promptly ensure that the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights receives enough financial support to fulfill its mandate, Human Rights…
A protester holds up a sign next to relatives of some of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos during a march in Mexico City
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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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South American Countries Should Speak Out on Excessive Use of Force

(New York) – Member states of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) should press the Venezuelan government to immediately address the serious human rights problems the country is facing, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to several Latin…
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Washington, D.C., June 26, 2014   Hector Timerman, Foreign Affairs Minister of Argentina Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Foreign Affairs Minister of Brazil Heraldo Muñoz, Foreign Affairs Minister of Chile María Ángela Holguín, Foreign Affairs Minister of…