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When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose…
LGBT activists in Beirut, Lebanon shout slogans and hold up a rainbow flag as they march to demand equal rights in a country gripped by economic and financial crisis, June 27, 2020.
News

People with Disabilities Find Strength Despite Discrimination

“I think I wouldn’t have achieved so much in my life without my disability,” said Doaa Qashlan, a university graduate and disability rights activist living in Gaza. Doaa, who was born with a physical disability and uses a wheelchair or an electric…
Doaa Qashlan speaks to Human Rights Watch during an interview in Gaza, November 18, 2020.
News

A Transgender Woman’s Court Victory Highlights the Russian Regulation’s Absurdity

A transgender woman in St. Petersburg, Russia has won a final court battle with a former employer who fired her in 2017 after she changed her legal gender. The woman, known throughout the ordeal by her pseudonym “Anna,” had worked for a decade at a…
The Russian flag flies on a courthouse building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15 2020.
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
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 Russia hosts the World Cup—the biggest single-event sports competition on the planet—the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) should make clear that its rules off the pitch…
A Fifa tem influência para exigir respeito a direitos humanos
News
FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, had a reputation problem. In 2015, Sepp Blatter, the organization’s president at the time, and other top executives were facing corruption charges and, after awarding the 2018 and 2022…
Participants in a LGBT community rally in central Moscow, Russia hold a rainbow flag that reads, "Love. Don't make war", as a policeman stops them.
News
In June 2013, just months before the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed what became known as the “gay propaganda law,” arguing that “nontraditional sexual relations” were a danger to children…
People sing the Russian national anthem while raising rainbow flags and a Russian flag in solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community of Russia
News

But will the Russian authorities deliver on their pledges to Investigate?

Yesterday, I ran a news-conference at which a man described how he was rounded up and tortured during Chechnya’s anti-gay purge in the spring. One of dozens of victims of this large-scale “cleansing” operation against gay people in…
Maxim Lapunov
News
A brutal campaign against gay men is sweeping Chechnya, with reports of abduction-style detention, enforced disappearances, torture and deaths. Chechnya is an administrative unit of the Russian federation, and Russia’s authorities are duty bound to uphold…
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on December 13, 2011.
News

When Filing “Official Complaints” Isn’t an Option

For several weeks now, a brutal campaign against LGBT people has been sweeping through Chechnya. Law enforcement and security agency officials under control of the ruthless head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, have rounded up dozens of men on…
Mass pro-Kadyrov rally organized by Chechen authorities in Grozny in January 2016.
News
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
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News
I walked into a dimly lit, windowless room and saw “Anur,” who was struggling to stand up in the fenced area where he was confined. Other children with disabilities in the institutions I’ve visited were in rooms with as many as 10 children, with cribs…
News
The day Julija was born should have been a day of celebration for Jasmina and Ivica Čuković, a Serbian couple, who had tried for years to have a baby. But the events following their daughter’s birth in a public hospital in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, left…
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
News
Millions of children across Russia experience the excitement this week of going back to school: reuniting with friends, tackling new subjects, and expanding their knowledge and skills. But for Russia's more than 540,000 children with disabilities, back to…
News
May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It’s a particularly pertinent day for Russia, where life is rapidly becoming unsafe for LGBT children and adults. ‘I’m sad that there is so much hatred in the world toward gays…