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Idlib Attacks Reaffirm Need for Civilian Protection

(Beirut) – A November 24, 2018 attack by Syrian government forces near an elementary school that killed six children, a teacher, and a student’s mother, appears to have been unlawful and indiscriminate. All parties to the conflict,…
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Amid Ongoing Bombings, More Protection Needed for Education

In areas of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus held by anti-government armed groups, schools have closed for fear that Syrian and Russian warplanes will bomb them. Instead, local residents have opened informal schools…
Children walk through the rubble of the Tamayuz (“Excellence”) kindergarten in the town of Hamouriyeh after it was hit by a Syrian-Russian airstrike on November 8, 2017. © 2017 Private
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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UN Security Council Should Act on Eastern Ghouta Situation

(New York) – Attacks by Syrian-Russian forces in an area near the Damascus in late October and early November 2017 killed eight children and destroyed or damaged four schools, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks on Eastern Ghouta…
Children walk through the rubble of the Tamayuz (“Excellence”) kindergarten in the town of Hamouriyeh after it was hit by a Syrian-Russian airstrike on November 8, 2017. © 2017 Private
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Investigate Killings, Abductions of Foreign Men

  (Beirut) – Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,400 foreign women and their children who surrendered with ISIS fighters in late August 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The detentions appear to have no legal…
Iraqi Ministry of Transportation buses taking internally displaced families to Hammam al-Alil in May 2017. In late August, Iraqi authorities bused 1,400 foreign women and children to the site. © 2017 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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10 Dead, Including Displaced Family

(Beirut) – Syrian-Russian airstrikes and artillery attacks on June 14, 2017, in a town in the southern Daraa governorate killed 10 civilians in and near a school, Human Rights Watch said today. Residents said they were not aware of any military targets in…
The impact crater in the Martyr Kiwan school courtyard from a Syrian-Russian airstrike on June 14, 2017. Seven of the eight casualties, including a child, were from a displaced family and had been sheltering in the school.
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Evidence Contradicts Russian Denial

(Beirut) – Analysis of satellite imagery provides additional verification that damage to a school complex in the village of Haas in Idlib on October 26, 2016, was caused by airstrikes carried out by the joint Russian-Syrian military operation in Syria,…
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39th Reported Attack on Schools in Syria This Year

(New York) – Airstrikes by the joint Russian-Syrian military operation that killed dozens of civilians, mostly schoolchildren, in the northern, opposition-controlled Syrian governorate of Idlib on October 26, 2016, could constitute a war crime, Human…
A man carries what appears to be a remnant of the parachute system of one of the bombs used in the attack on a school complex in al-Hass on October 26.
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The first day of school is just around the corner – a day usually marked by excitement and hope for the year to come. But for many Syrian refugee children, it promises to be just another dreary day of selling gum on the street or…
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Samir is chatty and smart. Little of the 11-year-old’s confident demeanor reveals the horrors he has seen. Sitting bolt upright in one of his family’s two armchairs, the young Syrian politely answers questions, eager to share his story of uprooting and…
School supplies belonging to a Syrian refugee child enrolled in her local public school.
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Indiscriminate Attacks Strike Government-Held Areas

(New York) – Opposition armed groups in Syria have indiscriminately attacked civilians in government-held territory with car bombs, mortars, and rockets, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The attacks have killed and maimed hundreds of…
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As school holidays wind down across much of the northern hemisphere, many children will be having anxious thoughts about the upcoming year: new classmates, new teachers, new courses. But according to a report released this week by the United Nations…
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Kept Hostage for One Month

(New York) – The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) should immediately release the estimated 133 Kurdish boys it has held hostage in northern Syria for a month. ISIS abducted 153 children, ages 13 and 14, from the mostly Kurdish town of Ain…
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Recruitment Under the Guise of ‘Education’

Non-state armed groups in Syria have used children as young as 15 to fight in battles, sometimes recruiting them under the guise of offering education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The groups have used children as young as 14 in…
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Global Campaign to Finalize, Implement Protection Guidelines

Geneva - The Norwegian government’s leadership to promote international standards to protect schools and universities from military use during armed conflict could spare students and teachers the horrors of war, the Global Coalition to Protect Education…
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Need Swift Implementation to Ensure Safe Delivery Across Frontlines

(New York) – A coalition of 18 international humanitarian, human rights and peace groups welcome the unanimous UN Security Council resolution demanding safe and unhindered humanitarian access – including across conflict lines and across borders – to…
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Powerful Conventional Weapon Kills at Least 12 Students in Raqqa

(New York ) – A Syrian government airstrike using fuel-air explosive bombs hit outside a secondary school in the opposition-held city of Raqqa on September 29, 2013, killing at least 14 civilians. At least 12 of those killed were students attending their…
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Children Interrogated, Arrested; Schools Shelled

(London) – The Syrian government has interrogated students and carried out violent assaults on their protests and military attacks on schools, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.Both government forces and opposition armed groups have…
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Boys Report Serving as Fighters, Guards, and Lookouts

(New York) – Armed opposition groups fighting in Syria are using children for combat and other military purposes, Human Rights Watch said today. Children as young as 14 have served in at least three opposition brigades, transporting weapons and supplies…