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Emergency Housing for LGBT Youth in Tirana, Albania

The psychologist at the LGBT youth shelter waited for me in a small side street in the city center of Tirana, Albania’s capital. “No one knows our exact address, we want to avoid arson and havoc,” she told me.
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LGBT Program Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich (2nd from Left) with the psychologist and the social workers from an LGBT youth shelter, STREHA, in Tirana, Albania.
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LGBT Rights Groups Bring Legal Case to Fulfil Long-Delayed Promise

Last week Kristi Pinderi, executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT, announced his organization would file a lawsuit requesting recognition of same-sex partnerships.
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Kristi Pinderi, the executive director of the Albanian group PRO LGBT.
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Urgent need to safeguard students, teachers and schools during armed conflict

Albanians older than 40 know about militarized schools. For years during communism, children took time from classes to march, dig, and shoot in preparation for an onslaught from the “imperialist West” or “revisionist East.” Last week they drew on that…
A boy stands in a classroom at his school after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa July 20, 2015.
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(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
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Six years ago I was invited to Tirana, Albania’s capital, to meet with human rights activists who told me stories of rampant homophobia and a dire lack of legal protections for LGBT people. Yesterday, Albania took an important step forward combatting both…
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Statement delivered under Item 6

The Universal Periodic Review of Fiji comes at an important point in Fiji’s history. In 2014, the country held its first general elections in nearly eight years, resulting in the election of a new government of the Fiji First Party, headed by Prime…
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Make Verifiable Changes to Dismal Rights Record

(Geneva) – UN member states should press the government of Fiji during its UN human rights review to end ill-treatment in detention, cease harassment and arbitrary arrest of its citizens, and stop interfering with judicial independence, Human Rights Watch…
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Fiji’s September 17 elections, the first in nearly eight years, were widely held to have restored democratic rule. An estimated 600,000 voters went to the polls, many casting their ballots for the very first time. But the man in charge before the election…
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Uphold Human Rights in Political Positions, Commitments

(Bangkok) – Fiji’s political parties and their candidates should make respect for human rights a central issue in their campaigns for the election on September 17, 2014, Human Rights Watch said today in letters to the five major parties fielding…
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A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates

Ro Teimumu Kepa President Social Democratic Liberal Party   Re: A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates  Dear President Kepa, We write to you ahead of the elections scheduled for September 17, 2014 to urge that the Social Democratic Liberal Party…
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A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates

Felix Anthony Leader People’s Democratic Party   Re: A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates  Dear Mr. Anthony, We write to you ahead of the elections scheduled for September 17, 2014 to urge that the People’s Democratic Party uphold the principles…
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A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates

Biman Chand Prasad Party Leader National Federation Party   Re: A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates  Dear Mr. Prasad, We write to you ahead of the elections scheduled for September 17, 2014 to urge that the National Federation Party uphold the…
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A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates

Lavenia K. Padarath President Fiji Labour Party   Re: A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates  Dear President Padarath, We write to you ahead of the elections scheduled for September 17, 2014 to urge that the Fiji Labour Party uphold the principles of…
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A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama Leader Fiji First Party   Re: A Human Rights Agenda for Party Candidates  Dear Mr. Bainimarama, We write to you ahead of the elections scheduled for September 17, 2014 to urge that the Fiji First Party uphold the principles of…
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In Fiji, one must choose between being an advocate for media freedom and a journalist. The chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA), the government body tasked with regulating the media, advised a prominent local journalist in March to…