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Anti-Death Penalty Group Condemns Sentence, Seeks Action on Prison Conditions

(New York) – Human Rights Watch on January 18, 2022 joined other organizations in condemning Sri Lanka’s ongoing use of the death penalty after a prison official was sentenced to death on January 12. The groups said that the conviction appeared to be an…
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But Momentum for New Treaty on Autonomous Weapons is Growing

(Geneva, December 20, 2021) – Major military powers are preventing efforts by a majority of countries to prohibit autonomous weapons systems through a new international treaty, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 17, 2021, governments at the…
Illustration of missiles being fired at a person
News

Ten Points to Celebrate from 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for children around the world. Earlier this month, UNICEF reported that the pandemic has plunged 100 million more children into poverty and rolled back virtually every measure of progress. This grim…
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, demonstrates with others in front of the Standard and Chartered Bank during a climate protest in London, England, October 29, 2021
News

Delivered by Gerry Simpson, Associate Director, Crisis and Conflict Division

Thank you, Chair. Human Rights Watch has two priorities for this Review Conference: killer robots and incendiary weapons. Killer Robots As a co-founder of the Stop Killer Robots campaign, Human Rights Watch supports its call for a new…
The Broken Chair, a statue in support of the bans on landmines and cluster munitions, stands outside the United Nations in Geneva.
News

Healthcare Professionals, Burn Survivor Organizations Seek Stronger Rules

(Geneva, December 9, 2021) – The cruel consequences of incendiary weapons warrant reviewing and strengthening international legal rules governing their use, Human Rights Watch said today. Countries will decide whether to initiate talks on these…
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Unlawful Syrian-Russian Alliance Attack Strikes Civilians

Update December 13, 2021: After publication, Human Rights Watch interviewed a knowledgeable source who said he observed at least seven large-caliber artillery shells being fired into Ariha on October 20 at 8 a.m.. He said they had been fired from a…
A man stands amongst rubble in an apartment building
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Healthcare Professionals, Burn Survivors Urge Action at Disarmament Conference

As a major United Nations disarmament conference is set to be held in Geneva from December 13-17, healthcare professionals and burn survivor organizations from around the world are adding a compelling voice to the diplomatic debate around incendiary…
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News

Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
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Legal Uncertainty, Growing Concerns Show Urgent Need for Regulation

Governments should open negotiations to adopt new international law on lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as “killer robots.” Existing international law is not adequate to address the urgent threats posed by such weapons, which several…
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Why New Law Is Needed and How It Can Be Achieved

The Sixth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), scheduled to be held at the United Nations in Geneva from December 13-17, 2021, is a major juncture for international talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems. After…
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News
In welcome news, the Aotearoa New Zealand government has announced it will push for the adoption of new international law to prohibit and limit autonomous weapons systems. The policy commits New Zealand to play “a leadership role in building an…
The Broken Chair, a statue in support of the bans on landmines and cluster munitions, stands outside the United Nations in Geneva.
News

A New York Times exposé on a previously undisclosed attack on dozens of noncombatants in Syria is indicative of DOD’s impunity.

Pentagon leadership cannot – or will not – fix its civilian casualties problem. It’s long past time for Congress to step in. On November 17, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “we are committed to protecting civilians and getting this right...We have…
A view of the Capitol Building in Washington October 15, 2013.
News

Delivered by Steve Goose, Executive Director

I thank my colleague for that powerful statement reminding us of why we are here. Preventing future victims and meeting the needs and the rights of existing victims is at the heart of what we are collectively doing. The Mine Ban Treaty is rightfully…
A member of the Palestinian security forces takes part in a training session to find and remove landmines, organised by the Palestinian Ministry of Interior and the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Jericho June 25, 2012.
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‘Landmine Monitor 2021’ Spotlights Rising Casualties

The annual Landmine Monitor 2021 report recorded at least 7,073 casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war during 2020, up from the 5,853 recorded in 2019. Myanmar government forces have used antipersonnel mines in 2021, while non-…
Clearance operator from the Halo Trust clearing a steep, rocky hillside in Afghanistan.
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
News

Open Civic Space, Ensure Accountability for Excessive Force

(New York) – The Chadian government has failed to take any responsibility for its security forces’ abusive use of force against peaceful protesters in the capital N’Djamena on October 2, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. The right to peaceful…
Chadian anti-riot police in the capital city, N’Djamena, during opposition-led protests on October 2, 2021