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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

Click to expand Image An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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 Since 2011, violence in Syria has forcibly displaced at least 1.6 million school-age children to other countries in the region. Before the conflict, more than 90 percent of Syrian children attended primary school and 70 percent…
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Failure to Press Rights Would Bode Ill for Future Relations

Norway has long been an international human rights champion, leading on the international campaigns to ban landmines and cluster munitions, and more recently taking a pioneering role in the Safe Schools Declaration, which protects children from wartime…
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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
News
Thanks to a new healthcare law voted in by Norway’s Parliament yesterday, the country’s transgender people will be able to self-declare their appropriate legal gender. In the past, they needed to undergo compulsory psychiatric evaluations, diagnoses, and…
A general view inside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo August 1, 2011.
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Fast-Track Returns Put Refugees at Risk

(Moscow) – Norway should stop using fast-track procedures to return asylum seekers to Russia based on the presumption that it is a safe country of asylum for them, Human Rights Watch said today. Russian and Norwegian authorities plan to meet on February 3…
Refugees and migrants gather near a checkpoint on the Russian-Norwegian border in Murmansk region, Russia on October 30, 2015.
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Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should…
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Sometimes, stories reverberate across the generations. From Olav Brakstad, now in his 90s, I learned about the day in 1940 when German soldiers moved into his high school in Eidsvoll, using some of the buildings as a field hospital and classrooms as…
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Companies Should Create Strong Rights Precedent

(Washington, DC) – Burma’s new telecom license winners should make a public commitment to strong human rights policies and broad transparency measures, Human Rights Watch said. Firms should say how they plan to protect users from illegal surveillance and…