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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
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Over three years ago, the Chilean government sent a bill to Congress to uphold same-sex marriage. The bill has not moved forward. Instead, Chile has been taking steps backward. Take the June decision by the Constitutional Court, denying a request…
People take part in the annual Pride parade in support of the LGBT community, in Santiago, Chile, on June 22, 2019.
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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
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This article was published in five newspapers in Latin America. Leaders in the Americas have often been confronted in recent years with hard questions about accountability and prisoners’ rights. Should people imprisoned for…
Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori listens to the judge's verdict about his sentence in prison, in Lima October 29, 2013.
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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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
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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.
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Last month, the government of President Sebastián Piñera of Chile issued rules that could seriously undermine access to legal abortion in the country. The rules issued by the Health Ministry, which modify the ones issued under former President…
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In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
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Last month, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile introduced a bill in Congress that appears to be a reaction to the recent release, in Peru, of the former autocratic President Alberto Fujimori. The proposal limits the early release of people convicted of…
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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
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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)
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At first glance, 2017 seems to have been a good year for marriage equality the world over. But the year ends on a negative note. Let’s start in Europe. In Germany and Malta, two European Union member states, legislation came…
Same-sex couple get married at a registry office in Germany.
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Last week, the rights group Derechos Digitales released the text of a worrying draft decree, signed by President Michelle Bachelet in June, that could greatly increase intrusive government access to personal data. The decree, which still needs to be…
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(Santiago, Chile) – Last month, in a huge victory for Chile’s women, the Constitutional Court here upheld a long-awaited law that eases a total ban on abortion, raising hopes that other Latin American countries will soon reconsider their cruel…
Demonstrators raise their thumbs in approval during a rally inside congress in favor of a draft law that would ease the country's strict abortion ban, in Valparaiso, March 17, 2016.
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The day I met Julija she was playing cheerfully with her baby sister on the floor inside their room in Kragujevac, a small town in southern Serbia. When she saw me – a stranger — on the doorstep, she smiled widely and stretched out her hands, offering a…
Julija Čuković, who spent ten months of her life in an institution, at home in Kragujevac with her parents, where she enjoys to play with her younger sister, also in the photo. © 2016 Zoran Stamenković
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Hungary’s governing party is cranking up the heat on nongovernmental organizations.  With its tight grip on parliament, and having undermined the courts and the media, the Fidesz government doesn’t like being held to account by pesky independent…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during his state-of-the-nation address in Budapest, Hungary, February 10, 2017.
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On November 2, the Chilean Senate adopted a resolution urging the Bachelet administration to support the Vatican’s efforts to mediate the Venezuelan crisis, and to seek a special OAS session to evaluate Venezuela's compliance with the Inter-American…
Aerial view of St. Peter's square in the Vatican.