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For more than two decades, the Taliban have put children on the front lines of Afghanistan’s armed conflicts. They have used children as fighters, to plant and detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and as suicide bombers. Thousands of…
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan on August 22, 2021.
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Government, UN, Donors Should Ensure Reintegration

(New York) – The Afghan government should release children detained for alleged association with armed insurgent groups and work with the United Nations and donors to establish programs for their reintegration into society, Human Rights Watch said…
Children in Detention illustration
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Poor Record of Coalition and Houthi Indiscriminate Attacks and Aid Restrictions

(Beirut) – All parties to the conflict in Yemen should minimize civilian harm during military operations against the western port city of Hodeida, Human Rights Watch said today. The Saudi-led coalition, backed by the United States, and…
Imports sit destroyed in a damaged warehouse at the port in Hodeida city, Yemen. © November 2016 Kristine Beckerle / Human Rights Watch
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Protection Gaps Increase Children’s Vulnerability

(Beirut) – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has recruited Afghan immigrant children living in Iran to fight in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. Afghan children as young as 14 have fought in the Fatemiyoun division,…
Tombstones of Afghan child soldiers buried in Iran.
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NGOs urge prohibitions on military aid to governments using child soldiers

September 14, 2016 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500 Re: Presidential determinations regarding the Child Soldiers Prevention Act …
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Adopt Strategy at Summit to Curb Military Abuses

(Brussels) – North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries should endorse concrete measures to improve the protection of civilians in the conflict in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to government leaders. The NATO…
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speak at a news conference in Kabul on March 15, 2016.
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Dear NATO Heads of State, The 2016 NATO Summit, to be held in Warsaw on July 8-9, 2016, is meant to reaffirm NATO’s continuing commitment to Afghanistan at a time when the Afghan government is under growing pressure not only from Taliban…
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Earlier this year, the Taliban gunned down a former fighter named Wasil Ahmad outside his home in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province. The killers apparently targeted Wasil because he fought with a government-supported militia, the Afghan Local Police. Wasil’s…
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State Department List Adds Iraq, Excludes Afghanistan

(New York) – The Obama administration should require foreign governments receiving United States military aid to immediately end their use of child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 30, 2016, the US State Department issued a new list of…
Child soldiers put down their guns in a disarmament and release ceremony in Jonglei state, South Sudan, February 10, 2015.
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Working up to 18 hours per day for weeks without breaks or a day off. Being paid little, or not at all. Locked in their employers’ home, fed food scraps, their passports confiscated. These abuses can amount to modern slavery as defined by the United…
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This week, British MPs face a simple choice. They must decide if it is right that a woman who flees abuse should become an undocumented migrant just because she runs away. Women like Joycelyn, a young Filipino mother who was brought to London from the…
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Restore Right of Domestic Workers to Change Employers

(London) – The House of Lords should amend the Modern Slavery Bill to restore the right for migrant domestic workers to change employers, Human Rights Watch and the United Kingdom charity Kalayaan said today. The bill is being considered in the House of…
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Allow Employees to Change Employer to Escape Abuse

(London) – The United Kingdom House of Lords should amend a draft law on “modern slavery” to include protections from abuse for migrant domestic workers, Human Rights Watch said today. The upper chamber of the UK parliament is scheduled to begin its…
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Don’t Dismiss Reports of Forced Labor, Exploitation

(London) – The UK government should address, not dismiss, evidence that employers have abused migrant domestic workers in the UK, Human Rights Watch and the UK charity Kalayaan said today. A draft law before parliament is aimed at combating forced labor…
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Need for Consistent, Impartial Reporting

All parties implicated in a new United Nations’ report about abuses of children during armed conflict should call an immediate halt to these crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN secretary-general’s annual report on children in armed conflict was…
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Wealthy families who come to the UK may bring with them domestic workers who work for them in their home country – often women who raise their children, clean their homes and cook their meals. In a move to cut down on immigration, two years ago the UK…
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UK Government Should Abolish ‘Tied Visa’ to Protect Workers, Prevent Forced Labor

(London) – Migrant domestic workers accompanying their employers to the United Kingdom are being subjected to serious abuses including forced labor, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The UK government is doing far too little to protect…