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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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Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
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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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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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Beaten by Mob Then Jailed Without Charge

(Beirut) – Jordanian authorities should immediately charge or release five Al al-Bayt university students detained since March 12, 2013, after other students alleged they had desecrated a Quran and engaged in “devil worship” . The students, who deny the…
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Khaled al-Natour, Held Incommunicado, Should be Charged or Freed

(Beirut) – Saudi authorities should immediately disclose the whereabouts and condition of the Jordanian activist Khaled al-Natour, and free him or charge him with a recognizable criminal offense. Saudi security forces detained al-Natour at King Khaled…
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UN Experts Express Concern Over Afghanistan Attacks, Detention

(Geneva) – The United States government should promptly carry out the recommendations of a United Nations committee of experts to improve protection of children abroad from armed conflict. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report and…
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Authorities Ordered Detention on Minor Charge, Failed to Treat Pain

(New York) - A Jordanian prosecutor ordered the pre-trial detention of a woman accused of a minor offense despite her life-threatening infection with necrotizing fasciitis, also known as "flesh-eating" bacteria, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
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Foreigners Arrested Outside Afghanistan Can't Challenge Detention in US Courts

(Washington, DC) - A US federal appeals court ruling today that bars the courts from hearing the claims of detainees arrested outside of Afghanistan and brought to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan leaves them without legal recourse against unlawful…
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On June 12, the UN Human Rights Council, consisting of 47 member states of the UN, concluded the first comprehensive human rights review of Jordan. The review produced 79 recommendations. (Jordan rejected 26 of them.)  Most of Jordan's human rights…
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Strengthening the Security Council’s Response to Sexual Violence and Attacks on Education in Armed Conflict

For a full decade, the UN Security Council has addressed the severe abuses that children experience in armed conflict. Its response has included a series of six resolutions (1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539, and 1612), the creation of a specialized working…
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Foreign Nationals Arrested Outside of Afghanistan Granted Right to Challenge Detention in US Courts

(New York) - A US federal court ruling that three detainees in US custody at the Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan who were arrested abroad be given the same legal protections as Guantanamo detainees expands the role of federal courts in protecting detainee…
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Afghanistan, Chad, DRC, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda May be Affected

(New York) – Under legislation adopted by the US Congress on December 10, 2008, governments involved in the use of children as soldiers may no longer be eligible for US military assistance, Human Rights Watch said today. The legislation, passed…
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Promises From Algeria and Jordan Unreliable in Preventing Abuse

(London, October 22, 2008) - The British government should immediately halt plans to deport foreign terrorism suspects to countries that offer unreliable promises not to torture them, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 36-page…