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Bryan Russell, Who Has Down Syndrome, Fights for Inclusive Schools, Political Participation

(New York) – Bryan Russell, a Peruvian human rights advocate, is the 2021 recipient of the Human Rights Watch Marca Bristo Fellowship for Courageous Leadership in Disability Rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Russell, 29, is a passionate…

Congress Omitted Adequate Consultation Process

(Lima) – Thousands of Peruvians with disabilities risk losing some of their legal rights if Congress passes a new law for people with disabilities that would replace existing legislation, Human Rights Watch said today. The Commission on Social…
A view of the Congress building in Lima, Peru, September 17, 2018.

States Should Oppose Forced Treatment, Detention; Ensure Non-Discrimination

In what may seem like a contradiction, the Council of Europe—the continent’s leading human rights body—continues to pursue a new legal instrument that would undermine the rights of people with disabilities. Today’s meeting of the Council of Europe’s…
The headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg

Protect Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities, Impose Death Penalty Moratorium

On September 21, the Pakistan Supreme Court directed a medical board to examine two death row prisoners with psychosocial disabilities, or mental health conditions, seeking expert opinion on mental health as a mitigating factor in capital punishment…
The Supreme court building is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 17, 2017.

Enforce Decision, Protect Rights of People with Disabilities

A recent decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court directs the federal and provincial governments to take steps to fully realize equal participation of people with disabilities. The court ruling was in response to a petition…
The Supreme court building is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 17, 2017.

Act Immediately to Guarantee Voting Rights for 2021 Election

(Lima, Peru) – Thousands of Peruvian citizens with disabilities who had previously been under legal guardianship by courts have not been included on the national voting registry in time to vote in the January 26, 2020 congressional elections in…
Actors and actresses with down syndrome represent Hamlet in a theater in Lima in December 2019.
A mobile team that supports people with psychosocial disabilities, or mental health conditions, in their own homes offers an innovative rights-based alternative to residential psychiatric care.

Improve Support, Accommodation

(Brussels) – European Schools, a network of 13 intergovernmental schools primarily teaching children of European Union employees, do not do enough to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities, Human Rights Watch and the European…
A boy sitting at his desk in his room doing homework
  Summary “My son knows every car brand. He has astonishing geographical memory. He knows two Mozart operas by heart. But special gifts like this are not regarded in schools, because they are not useful. If you are not among…

Protect Rights of Prisoners with Disabilities, Impose a Complete Moratorium on Death Sentence

This week, a medical board confirmed that Saleem Ahmad, a prisoner on death row for 14 years, has chronic schizophrenia. Ahmad, 50, had been scheduled to be executed in November 2017, but a court suspended his execution and…
Imdad Ali, who is aged around 50, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious cleric in 2002 and is set to be hanged tomorrow.
Nujeen Mustafa is a Syrian disability activist, who spent some time living in Greece as a refugee. Basic services, such as toilets or running water, were not available to her and the many other refugees in the camp, and are still not available to date.…

Improve Monitoring of Refugee Assistance Funds

(Brussels) – The European Parliament should ensure that European Union funds for refugees also reach those with disabilities, Human Rights Watch and the European Disability Forum said in advance of an event at the European Parliament in Brussels tomorrow…
Lagkadika camp, Thessaloniki, home to 234 asylum seekers and other migrants, as of January 5, 2017. The rocky terrain in many camps makes it difficult for people who use wheelchairs to move independently, including to access basic services such as toilets

EU-Turkey Deal Traps People in Abuse and Denies Them Refuge

(Athens) – The EU-Turkey deal has trapped thousands of people in abysmal conditions on the Greek islands for the past year, while denying most access to asylum procedures and refugee protection, Human Rights Watch said today. This assessment of conditions…
Asylum seekers from Algeria at a refugee squat on Lesbos. People of certain nationalities presumptively considered “economic migrants,” such as Algerians, are treated as having manifestly unfounded claims, and are often detained on that basis.

In Advance of the Development of List of Issues

Dear Committee Members: We write in advance of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities upcoming review of Peru, to highlight areas of concern that we hope will inform your consideration of the List of Issues on compliance with…

Would Exacerbate Dire Conditions for Asylum Seekers

(Athens) – Plans to resume returns of asylum seekers to Greece put the rights of thousands of people at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The move demonstrates once again the European Union’s failure to uphold its human rights obligations and share…
Families waiting for a bottle of water and a sandwich per person at a camp in Idomeni, Greece, March 2016.