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The Netherlands announced on Sept. 18 that it had notified Syria of its intention to hold that government accountable for torture under the United Nations Convention against Torture. The Syrian government responded by saying the Netherlands had no right…
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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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With only three months gone, populism looks like a shoo-in for word of year. Headlines warn that populism is a threat to Europe, perhaps even an existential one. Populist radical right parties have the wind in their sails, the argument goes, boosted by…
Germany's Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry, France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen, Italian Matteo Salvini of the Northern League, Netherlands' Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders, Harald Vilimsky of Austria's Freedom Party
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Michel Togué, a lawyer in the African country of Cameroon, has received death threats for defending lesbians and gays.
 
 This one, like the others, came anonymously  “We know that your wife is now shopping in the mall. We know your children are…
Boris Dittrich presents Alice Nkom and Michel Togue with prestigious Dutch Geuzenpenning Award, March 13, 2017.
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As activists push for change in the notoriously homophobic region, Aruba takes a big step in the right direction.

A decade ago, I was confronted with a massive display of homophobia. At the time I was a member of the Dutch parliament visiting the island of Aruba, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. I was with members of parliament from the…
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“And this is the computer room!” exclaimed the jovial sports teacher, throwing his arms out wide as we entered a classroom at School Number Four in the town of Krasnohorivka in eastern Ukraine.
 
 I looked around the classroom, confused.
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A member of the Donbass battalion makes his bed in a school converted into a base, August 18, 2014 in the small town of Popasna. © 2014 AFP/Getty Images/Anatoli Stepanov
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Last summer, Nina Nikolayevna lost the school in eastern Ukraine where she was the principal. It was shelled by heavy artillery fire during the armed conflict.
 
 Thirteen-year-old Martha was forced to flee her village in South Sudan because of…
School in Nikishine, eastern Ukraine, damaged during fighting between Ukrainian government and rebel forces from Aug. 2014 to Feb. 2015.
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The eyes of the world are on Australia as politicians consider whether to support marriage equality

Next week, a marriage equality bill is likely to be introduced in the Australian Parliament. It will no doubt produce the same kind of intense discussions and soul searching as in the 18 other countries that have passed these laws.
 
  
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Peter Lemke, Frank Wittebrood, Ton Jansen, Louis Rogmans, Helene Faasen, Anne-Marie Thus, Dolf Pasker and Geert Kasteel cut the cake after their wedding ceremony in the town hall of Amsterdam on April 1, 2001.
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Recent reports that the Netherlands is considering accepting some current Guantanamo detainees for resettlement is good news for the detainees and good news for the Netherlands. If the deal goes through it would provide some detainees who have been…
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Listening to the debate in Europe on the threat from the extremist group Islamic State (IS) and returning fighters feels like Groundhog Day. Its black-and-white presentation, the existential nature of the alleged threat, the notion that governments should…