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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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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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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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“I want to leave but I can’t,” Ana told me. “I have a guardian. I told my sister and my doctor [that I want to leave this place], but my guardian has a say.” Ana is among 18,000 people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities placed under…
Restraints on a bed in Lopaca Psychiatric Hospital. Emina Cerimovic/Human Rights Watch 2014.
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NEW YORK, Jul 6 2015 (IPS) - Last week, I went to see the new flick “Love & Mercy,” about the life of Brian Wilson, a singer, songwriter, and the genius behind The Beach Boys. I hadn’t heard much about the film. In fact, I was expecting a summer movie…
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We drove up a narrow, winding road, with trees on both sides for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, at the top of the hill, there it was: a three-building complex with a sign on the gate that read “Psihijatrijska bolnica Lopača” (Psychiatric Hospital…
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When I was growing up in Greece, my grandparents often told me that if I didn’t eat my food, they would call the Gypsies to take me away. Sadly, the old myths about Roma snatching babies were revived after police took a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed…
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By most measures, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is the gold standard for international justice. With 69 convictions, it has brought to justice many of the people behind the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s Balkan…
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Moving boxes were everywhere in the office of the EU delegation in Zagreb when I visited in early June. As Croatia joined the Union on July 1, the EU delegation in Zagreb is closing shop. But just because Croatia has been formally admitted to the Union…
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A public debate at the UN on April 10 will serve up a revisionist denial of the worst killings in Europe since the end of World War II: the ethnic slaughter in the former Yugoslavia that horrified the world in the 1990s. While the session's ostensible…
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People with disabilities, minorities, remain exposed to grave abuses

For many in Europe, the western Balkans still evoke images of the brutal conflicts that followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The legacy of those wars continues to shape European Union and US policy toward the region. Repairing the damage…
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One of the two key ‘chapters' of negotiations that Croatia must close before it can join the EU is, as you have written, the chapter on the judiciary and fundamental rights ("Approaching the finishing line", 4-10 November).  Croatia has improved its…
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How to keep foreign dictators from living large in the U.S.

In sunny Malibu a real estate agent named Neal Baddin helps the playboy son of one of the world's most corrupt leaders buy a $30 million mansion. Teodoro Nguema Obiang lives off money taken from the coffers of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny but oil-rich…
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Slobodan Milosevic conducted his legal defense much as he did his political life: with bombast, bullying and belligerence. Observing Milosevic for weeks and weeks in The Hague in the first half of his four-year trial, it became quickly clear to me that he…
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Response to an Article in <i>Vjesnik</i>

A recent article by Vlado Rajic in Vjesnik (“Leveling On the Part of Human Rights Defenders,” October 16, 2004) about Human Rights Watch’s report on domestic war crimes trials in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia and Montenegro, misrepresents…
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Most critics of the Hague tribunal in Serbia share the view of command responsibility as a form of strict liability. They argue that command responsibility entails responsibility of a superior for the acts of his subordinates solely because of his…
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On Sunday, June 27, voters in Serbia will choose a new president from two opposition politicians. The choice could not be starker: moderate Boris Tadic offers to build on the political legacy of the late Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. Tomislav Nikolic is…
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In the territories that comprise the former Yugoslavia—notably Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter Bosnia), and Kosovo—the failure of international and domestic efforts to promote the return of refugees and displaced persons has left substantially…