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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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Schools should be safe places for children — even during wartime.

On an autumn afternoon in 1993, following heavy artillery fire, my older sister Edina gave me a backpack and rushed me through deserted streets to a local school in Visoko, a town 30 kilometers outside of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, where we lived with…
Damaged school in Nikishine. Rebel fighters deployed inside the school between September 2014 and February 2015 and exchanged intense fire with Ukrainian forces. © 2015 Yulia Gorbunova/Human Rights Watch
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It’s not easy to be an investigative journalist in the Western Balkans. Besides the inherent challenges of the job, reporters can face physical attacks, intimidation, even death threats. Reporting an attack to the authorities rarely brings justice.…
A cartoon in Serbian Blic satirizing Olja Bećković’s weekly TV show Utisak Nedelje
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"[T]housands of men executed and buried in mass graves, 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…
A woman cries near the coffin of her relative among 136 newly identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.
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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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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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Seventeen years on, the Dayton peace accords continue to fail Bosnia's minorities.

On 21 November 1995, the EU and US brokered the Dayton peace agreement, putting an end to the three-and-a-half-year bloody war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The agreement failed to tackle the division that the war had wrought, though, instead establishing a…
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  With Bosnia’s aspirations to EU and NATO membership, it is only natural that it sometimes looks to Europe and the US as a model. But when it comes to combating terrorism, the country seems to be learning the wrong lessons – emphasizing national…
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Some 20 years ago this month, a brutal war exacerbated by ethnic divisions broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To end the war, the European Union and the United States, among others, helped broker the Dayton Peace Accords and wrote the country's new…
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(Sarajevo) – Visiting a Roma settlement north of Sarajevo last week was like going back in time to the war  —   five people crammed into one small room, wood piled in one corner, a stove in another, one worn sofa serving as a bed. Electricity supplied by…
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Tribunal Must See Justice Done

Justice has finally caught up with Ratko Mladic. The Bosnian Serb warlord, an alleged mastermind of some of the worst crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, including the Srebrenica genocide, is sitting in the United Nations detention unit in…