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Memorandum to Delegates of the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

  Ten years ago, images of white phosphorus munitions raining fire on populated areas of Gaza generated international outrage and sparked discussions of incendiary weapons at the United Nations. The Israel Defense Forces’ use of white…
201911arms_iw_syria
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Memorandum to Delegates of the 2018 Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

Incendiary weapons are among the cruelest weapons used in contemporary armed conflict. These weapons, which produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable substance, cause excruciating burns and destroy…
Des habitants tentent d'éteindre des incendies provoqués par une attaque à l'arme incendiaire dans l'ouest d'Idlib, Syrie, 30 juillet 2018.
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Memorandum to Delegates at the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

    Introduction In November 2017, for the first time in 37 years, a UN disarmament body will have a dedicated opportunity to address the humanitarian problems caused by incendiary weapons, one of modern warfare’s cruelest class of…
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Memorandum to Delegates at the Fifth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons

Introduction In mid-December 2016, countries party to a major disarmament treaty have an opportunity to take concrete steps toward reducing and ending the human suffering caused by incendiary weapons. They will convene at the United Nations in…
Photo of a ZAB-2.5 incendiary submunition from a December 5, 2016 attack on Maarat al-Numan south of Idlib.
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Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons Delegates

Incendiary weapons rank among the cruelest means of armed conflict. The fire and heat they produce cause excruciatingly painful burns that are difficult to treat and can lead to long-term psychological harm and severe disfigurement. They also start fires…
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2015 Recipient of the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
Yara Bader
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Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons Delegates

As states party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) convene for their annual meeting in November 2014, the matter of incendiary weapons is reaching a crossroads. Ongoing use of these exceptionally cruel weapons highlights the urgent need to…
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The Syrian government’s extensive use of cluster munitions has caused numerous casualties, damaged infrastructure, and is resulting in a deadly legacy of explosive remnants of war that will pose dangers to civilians for years to come. Human Rights Watch…
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Introduction I. The International Criminal Court A. The ICC’s Value-Added in Syria B. The Need for Increased Support for the ICC C. The Imperative of an “ICC referral” D. The Drawbacks of an Ad Hoc Tribunal for Syria II. National Prosecutions in Syria A…
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Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons Delegates

Incendiary weapons produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable substance. These weapons cause extremely painful burns that are difficult to treat, and also start fires that can destroy objects and infrastructure. Field…
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Winners Named for the 2012 Alison Des Forges Award

Update: Because Salah Marghani was appointed Libya's justice minister on October 31 he is unable to accept the Alison Des Forges Award. (New York) - Two courageous and tireless advocates for human rights have been selected as recipients of the prestigious…
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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One year ago Burma conducted tightly controlled elections that transferred power from a ruling military council to a nominally civilian government in which the president and senior government officials are all former generals. In 2011 the new government…
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Maikel Nabil, a 25-year imprisoned for blogging, has been on hunger strike at Marg prison since August 23 to protest his unjust imprisonment. The strike is of extra concern because he has low blood pressure and is taking medication for a heart condition.…
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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2009 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with…
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Strengthening the Security Council’s Response to Sexual Violence and Attacks on Education in Armed Conflict

For a full decade, the UN Security Council has addressed the severe abuses that children experience in armed conflict. Its response has included a series of six resolutions (1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539, and 1612), the creation of a specialized working…
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Updated July 2008

Burma produces a variety of gems but is most famous for its rubies and jade. The vast majority of high-quality rubies on the world market originate from Burma. Burmese rubies are renowned for their dark "pigeon's blood" color, which makes them more…