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For 30 days, beginning January 17, European Union commissioners received daily Twitter notifications linking to personal stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Poles who have been harmed  by the  so-called “LGBT Ideology…
People take part in a gay pride parade in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, June 8, 2019.
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As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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French president Emmanuel Macron should use his February visit to Poland to champion the rule of law and democratic institutions that protect human rights. Macron came to power promising to defend the rule of law in the EU and make it a central…
201801asia_china_macron French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his New Year wishes to the members of the press corps at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 3, 2018.
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Mallorca is set to host an international conference beginning May 28 that will focus on protecting students, teachers, and schools during wartime. Spain offered to host the Third International Conference on Safe Schools to show its…
Children look through a destroyed classroom window at Yerwa Primary School, Maiduguri, Borno state, damaged by Boko Haram during attacks in 2010 and 2013. The school, established in 1915, was the first primary school in northeast Nigeria. © 2015 Bede Shep
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Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell is scheduled to open an international conference tomorrow on protecting schools during wartime on the island of Mallorca, Spain. The occasion has me thinking about two schools at almost opposite ends of Europe…
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The European Union is finally getting serious about threats to its values from member states. Less than three months ago, the European Parliament took the bold step of initiating EU scrutiny over the Hungarian government's efforts to…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
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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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When President Donald Trump visited Poland a year ago, he spoke in front of the Warsaw Uprising Monument, a reminder of the suffering of thousands of Polish people under the yoke of tyranny. That day, President Trump praised the Polish…
President Donald Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda hold a joint news conference in Warsaw, Poland July 6, 2017.
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As the EU struggles to rein in some member states that are backsliding on democratic standards, a critical vote in the European Parliament next week could be a decisive moment. The threat is real. Radical populist leaders promoting policies to…
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
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As this month’s climate talks in Germany come to an end, some participants are feeling a little queasy. Environmental activists and indigenous peoples worry about their ability to actively participate in the annual UN climate talks, in Katowice,…
Women climate change activists demand respect for rights at Paris Agreement signing ceremony outside the United Nations in New York, April 2016.
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“We had to get up at 4 in the morning to avoid the police. They caught me five or six times. They beat me with their batons. If you fall, they beat you. Each time, they sent me to Tangiers, Casablanca or somewhere else far away.” …
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Looking through the windows at Terespol train station on Poland’s border with Belarus, I see a familiar sight. About 60 asylum seekers are waiting to be back on a return train ride to Brest, Belarus, 20 minutes away. Most appear to be…
8:28 a.m. train carrying asylum seekers to Terespol, Poland. Brest, Belarus, December 7, 2016.
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In September 2015, Marem Aliyeva disappeared from her home in southern Russia. She had called the police multiple times to report that her husband was beating her, but to no avail. “We don’t get involved in domestic matters,” the police told her. On the…
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Chechens Seeking Asylum in Poland

While Europe has been focusing its attention on refugee flows across the Mediterranean, another refugee situation has been building on the Belarus-Poland border. Since late 2015, thousands of asylum seekers, mostly from Russia’s North Caucasus republics…
Asylum seekers in the arrivals hall at Brest train station, returned on the 13.46 pm train from Terespol, where their requests to seek asylum Poland were rejected. Brest, Belarus, December 7, 2016.
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Europe seems finally to be waking up to the serious external threats to its values. Developments in Washington highlight the need for positive action in the face of an overtly nationalistic and anti-rights form of populism. But the threats don’…
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For the first time, the European Commission has threatened to activate the 2014 rule of law mechanism allowing it to monitor and act on “systemic threats” to rule of law in EU member states. The reason for the commission’s toughened stance is…