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Recounts Harrowing Experience Fleeing during Latest Escalation

Abeer al-Harakli, a 28-year-old disability rights defender from Gaza, addressed the United Nations earlier this month at the 14th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She described…
Abeer al-Harakli, a disability rights defender from Gaza, addressing the United Nations in a video message at the 14th session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations, New York, June 17, 2021. 
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New Law Bans Discrimination, Promotes Inclusion

On May 5, Armenia’s parliament adopted the law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is a long-awaited reform with the potential to change the lives of the roughly 200,000 people with disabilities in Armenia by protecting them from…
A boy sits on a swing in the courtyard of an orphanage for children with disabilities, Yerevan, Armenia.
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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.
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Ensure Transparency, End Institutional Care

Serbia has taken a positive step to better protect people from Covid-19 by agreeing to release data on the total number of Covid-19 infections and deaths inside social care institutions. People inside institutions are some of the most at-risk during…
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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UN Committee Finds New Evidence of Violence in Institutions

A recent review of Serbia finds that the government is failing to protect women with disabilities in institutions from violence. In its report, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) also…
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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Court Ruling Gives Hope for Greater Equality Before the Law

A recent decision by Armenia’s highest court promises to advance the right to equal justice for people with disabilities in Armenia. In 2015, Artur Hakobyan, a then 18-year-old military conscript reported that a military…
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Two Israeli Civilians With Psychosocial Disabilities Held Incommunicado

April 4 was the fifth day of Passover, the weeklong Jewish holiday commemorating freedom from slavery, but Avera Mangistu’s parents – who were protesting outside the Israeli prime minister’s house – were keenly aware that their son was…
Avera Mangistu’s parents and disability rights activists at a protest tent in Jerusalem.
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Long Journey Home for Baby With Disabilities

At her local church in Yerevan, Armenia, Siranush lit a candle and prayed that her daughter would survive the night. Lusine, 22, was hovering between life and death in a nearby hospital after a terrible car crash. As Siranush pleaded for her daughter’s…
Armenia Orphanage Witness - Meri 1
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Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
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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