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The release of the convicted war criminal Sreten Lukic and his return to Serbia highlights how the Belgrade authorities are still doing nothing to prosecute other high-ranking officials for wartime crimes in Kosovo and the subsequent cover-up. I…
Unmarked graves in Djakovca (Gjakove) cemetery, July 1999. Witnesses said that Serbian forces exhumed and moved at least 70 bodies from here in May of that year.
News

The U.S. has sent considerable military assistance to Ukraine. That aid needs to be linked to human rights concerns.

When Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has his first meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on August 30, he will be looking for reassurances and commitment from Washington. The U.S. has been a close supporter of Ukraine and has in recent years…
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a press conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, May 22, 2020.
News
While eyes were fixed on elections in the United States last week, a president in Europe resigned to face trial for atrocity crimes committed more than 20 years ago. Kosovo’s Specialist Prosecutor’s Office formally charged President…
Then-President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.  ©2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
News
At the peak of the Covid-19 infections, on April 30, the Serbian government published data that 574 people living in residential care institutions, including those for people with disabilities, had been infected with the virus. More recent numbers…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News

The Consequences of Conflict for Displaced People with Disabilities in Eastern Ukraine

"I am grateful for help. But sometimes it’s hard ... The attitude here is: if you want to be left in peace, go back home. But where is home? Everyone who could, who had a place to go, had already left." The ongoing war in eastern Ukraine has divided…
Elena Mikhailovna, 66, and Varya, 11 Sviati Hory, October 2019.
News
The news this week that Ukraine has become the 100th country to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration—a Norwegian initiative to make schools safer even during war—has me thinking about two schools at almost opposite ends of Europe. They…
Damaged school in Nikishine Rebel fighters deployed inside the school between September 2014 and February 2015 and exchanged intense fire with Ukrainian forces.
News

Many from Non-Government-Controlled Areas Face Bureaucracy, Discrimination

On a hot August day, I stood in line at the Migration Service of Ukraine. I had just gotten married and needed to change my last name in my passport. For most Ukrainians, this wouldn’t require significant effort. But I’m registered in…
Older people crossing the broken bridge at the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.
News
On March 31, Ukrainians will go to the polls to vote in the country’s second presidential elections since fighting began five years ago between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed armed groups. President Petro Poroshenko will face off against a record 43…
People wait at passport control after crossing the contact line between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops in Mayorsk, Ukraine, February 25, 2019.
News
As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
News

As European and Ukrainian leaders gather in Brussels, it's time to highlight the need for further protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Ukraine.

On 9 July, Brussels will host the 20th EU-Ukraine Summit, the annual exercise when Kyiv and the European block highlight their strong bilateral relations. No doubt, the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, and European Union leaders…
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk arrive for a joint news conference following the EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev, Ukraine, July 13, 2017.
News
On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
News

The groundbreaking court brought many of the war's worst criminals to justice, but more is needed to heal the region's deep divisions.

Hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers’ eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson. These are truly scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human…
A woman writes in a book inside a traveling monument called 'Prijedor 92' outside the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY)
News

More than a dozen men disappeared without a trace during Russia's annexation of Crimea. Their families are still waiting for news — and justice

We stopped for petrol on our way to Belogorsk, a small town in Crimea. I was there in October with a colleague, researching human rights issues. Brand new yellow signs inside the petrol station were in Russian, Crimean Tatar and English…
Statue of a Russian soldier in Simferopol, Crimea.
News
Oil-rich Angola and Equatorial Guinea have long shared the infamous distinction of having the longest-serving presidents in Africa – 38 years. That will change this week when Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos is scheduled to hand over…
Teodorin Nguema, Equatorial Guinea's vice president and son of President Teodoro Obiang
News
Ukraine is moving to undo a March 2017 law that imposed an excessive burden on anti-corruption activists to publicly report their income and assets. That's good. But it will instead require NGOs to prepare extensive, onerous public reports…
201709eca_ukraine-poroshenkoeu
News
“This used to be our home but it’s not anymore.” A Simferopol resident, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons, told us this when we spoke with her in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula that Russia has occupied since…
2016-3-eca-crimea-man-children