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“This place guarantees you lose your sanity, your dignity, your humanity one way or another…It’s exhausting trying to protect myself all day, all night. I can’t do it anymore."  Kimberly Polman, a 49-year-old Canadian woman, wrote these words in…
A woman poses wearing a hijab
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(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch…
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Rights Body Urges End to Early ‘Normalizing’ Interventions on Children

The Australian Human Rights Commission issued a report today analyzing the persistent practice of medically unnecessary non-consensual surgeries on children born with variations in their sex characteristics. The commission urged authorities to protect…
The Intersex flag
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Authorities Deny Afghans Right to Seek Asylum

(New York) – Turkish authorities are summarily pushing Afghan asylum seekers crossing into the country from Iran back to Iran, in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said today. Six Afghans, five of whom were pushed back, told Human…
A Turkish soldier stands at the Turkish border with Iran
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Challenge Chokehold on Desperately Needed Humanitarian Aid, Call for Independent Inquiry

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to consider its response to yesterday’s decision by Ethiopia’s federal government to declare seven senior UN officials as “persona non grata,” unwelcome in the country. The…
An organizer asks displaced Tigrayans to queue as they wait to receive food at a school in Mekele, in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, May 5, 2021.
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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
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Chased by Border Agents on Horseback; Returned to Danger in Haiti

(Washington, DC) – The US deployment of border agents on horseback against Haitian migrants on September 19, 2021, stems from abusive and racially discriminatory immigration policies by the administration of President Joe Biden, Human Rights Watch…
Two Customs and Border Protection agents on horseback approach three Haitian migrants standing in the river. The migrants are holding bags and shoes.
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(Nairobi, September 21, 2021) – The Kenyan government’s response to gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic has been too little, too late, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 61-page report, “‘I Had Nowhere to Go’:…
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Lack of Protections Puts Women, Children at Risk

(Athens) – A law scheduled to take effect on September 16, 2021, that amends child custody provisions in Greece’s civil code places women and children survivors of domestic violence at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The Greek government should…
Protesters in Athens, Greece on March 27, 2021 stand outside the Greek Parliament displaying a banner that reads “your sexism is harming both mother and child” against a new law that introduces presumptive co-custody of children, even in cases of domestic violence.
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Afghanistan is Emblematic of Crises the ICC Was Created to Address

The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan has magnified concerns about an accelerating human rights crisis in the country. Already the world’s deadliest conflict since 2017, Afghanistan had seen a steady rise in attacks on civilians…
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Open Consultation on Domestic Abuse Act statutory guidance

Comments on Chapter 2 (‘Understanding Domestic Abuse’)  We write to note concerns regarding Chapter 2 of the draft Statutory Guidance, particularly regarding response to Black, Asian, migrant and other women in marginalized groups who experience…
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Attacks on Schools During the Nagorno-Karabakh War

  The first children died on the first day of the war. On September 27, 2020 a shell killed Victoria Gevorgyan. She was just 9 years of age. The shell landed in the yard of her home in the Martuni region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On the same…
A collage of eight images showing damage to schools
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Hospital Should Halt Medically Unnecessary Surgeries

Protesters picketed Weill-Cornell, a private institution that is part of the New York Presbyterian Hospital system, earlier this month, demanding the hospital cease medically unnecessary surgeries on children born with intersex traits, and investigate…
Demonstrators gather for an #EndIntersexSurgery protest outside Weill-Cornell hospital in New York City in August 2021. 
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International Community Needs to Increase Efforts to Help Afghans at Risk

A set of bombing attacks at the southeast gate of Kabul’s international airport on Thursday killed over 60 Afghans and at least 12 US soldiers, and wounded many more. The airport’s gates have reportedly now been closed, apparently bringing an end to…
Smoke rises from an explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.
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August 31 Departure Leaves Many Fearing Persecution Behind

Thousands of Afghans fearing persecution by the Taliban remain waiting outside Kabul’s airport, or sheltering in their homes, hoping be evacuated out of Afghanistan. But the United States-led multinational airlift is about to wrap up.…
People inside an aircraft line up to disembark
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Apparently Unlawful Attacks Cause Major Lasting Harm

The Israeli military’s airstrikes that destroyed four high-rise buildings in Gaza City during the May 2021 fighting apparently violated the laws of war and may amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks also damaged neighboring…
People in the Gaza Strip stand near the site of the collapsed al-Shorouk tower
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Police, Civil Servants Detained Incommunicado in Ghazni, Malistan, Kandahar

(New York) – Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government, Human Rights Watch said today. Residents from various…
202108asia_afghanistan_taliban_summary_exectuions
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6 Months After Takeover, Urgent Need for Targeted Sanctions, Arms Ban

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta has committed numerous abuses against the population that amount to crimes against humanity in the six months since the February 1, 2021 coup, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the military takeover, millions…
Women cry after seeing the body of their relative killed on March 14th by security forces during a peaceful protest in Yangon, Myanmar.
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Ensure Prompt Access to UN Refugee Agency for Protection

(New York) – Indian authorities should immediately free all detained Myanmar asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should investigate the deaths of two women who had fled Myanmar and died in custody in Manipur state from Covid…
A Myanmarese man looks towards the Indian side at the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram, India, Saturday, March 20, 2021.