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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

Dana Zzymm, an intersex and nonbinary US citizen, has been on a years-long quest to obtain a passport that reflects their identity by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M.” They sued to compel the US State…
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India’s parliament passed a bill to protect transgender rights last week, but the new law is inadequate on several fronts. Trans activists and allied human rights groups have critiqued the various trans rights bills since the first one…
Participants hold placards during a protest demanding an end to what they say is discrimination and violence against the transgender community, in Bengaluru, India October 21, 2016.
News
More than two centuries ago Mary Wollstonecraft laid the foundations for feminist thought with a simple premise: lack of equal opportunity diminished individual self-worth and hobbled social progress. In A Vindication of the Rights of…
Indian members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community celebrate the Supreme Court decision to strike down a colonial-era ban on gay sex, in Kolkata on September 6, 2018.
News
In a historic ruling, India’s Supreme Court struck down parts of a colonial-era law that criminalised homosexuality. Jayshree Bajoria spoke to Arif Jafar, an LGBT activist who was arrested under section 377 and spent 47 days in prison…
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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.
News
  Some politicians in Lebanon, host to the world’s largest per capita refugee population, are looking for signs that it may be safe for Syrian refugees to go home, even as the violence there continues.  Seven years into the Syria…
Bar Elias, a town in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, has become home to Syrian refugees who were evicted from the Rayak air base, and have settled here in informal encampments.
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After everything that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experienced in 2017 — from roundups and torture in Chechnya to antigay witch hunts in Egypt and Indonesia, closure of queer-friendly health facilities in…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News
Consider this alternative history: Shortly after the 1980 change in presidential administrations, President Reagan issues an order to suspend resettlement of Cambodian refugees who fled mass murder at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. The reason for doing so…
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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On Monday, September 19, world leaders will gather in New York for a summit on the global refugee and migrant crises. The summit has been billed as a chance to create a more responsive and orderly global system for meeting the needs of millions of people…
A still from video shows Omran, the 5-year old boy who was pulled out of the rubble after an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria on August 17, 2016.
News

Refugees Assist Investigations in France, Germany and Sweden

As Bashar al-Assad’s forces ramped up their bombing campaign on rebel-held territory over the past year, his government may not have realized that they were cracking its shield against accountability for crimes committed in the Syrian conflict since 2011…
Shelters burning in Iqdah displaced persons camp near the closed Turkish border north of Aleppo after ISIS took over the camp on April 14.
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EU leaders claim that the March 18 agreement to return “all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands” back to Turkey, writes Bill Frelick, will take place “in full accordance with EU and international law.” They cited the Procedures…
Asylum seekers and migrants at a makeshift camp at the port of Piraeus, queuing for distribution of survival kits by the Hellenic Red Cross. In the absence of any visible government support or personnel the day to day operation of the camp is dependent on
News

By Kenneth Roth, Salil Shetty & Catherine Woollard

Let’s not confuse desperation for legality when it comes to Europe’s proposed refugee deal with Turkey. No one should be under any illusion - the very principle of international protection for those fleeing war and persecution is at stake. …
Stranded refugees and migrants walk inside a relocation camp as they wait to cross the Greek-Macedonian border, near the Greek village of Idomeni, March 1, 2016.
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European policymakers have been burning the midnight oil looking for ways to keep Syrian and other refugees and migrants from reaching Greece and swelling the ranks of asylum seekers in the European Union. The Nato operation announced on 11…
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In the hit Indian film Kal Ho Na Ho, a housekeeper finds her charge and his male buddy horsing around and — assuming that they are in a relationship — faints with shock. Despite several serious gay-themed movies made in India, mainstream cinema tends to…
Gay rights activists hold placards as they shout slogans during a protest against a verdict by the Supreme Court in New Delhi December 15, 2013.
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Amid an influx of Iraqis and Syrians into Europe, the West is neglecting another group of refugees also in desperate need of help.

TOVARNIK, Croatia — Rajab Ali, a 16-year-old Hazara boy from Afghanistan’s Bamyan province, was silently weeping when we found him standing at the last remaining opening in the 12-foot-high razor-wire border fence Hungary has constructed on its…
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Um Ghassan was eleven in 1948 when her family fled Haifa. They joined the Palestinian exodus to Jordan, and later moved to Syria. “They welcomed us like we were their relatives,” she said. Decades later, when fighting broke out in Syria in 2011, Um…
A man walks on debris in the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp, on the southern outskirts of Damascus, June 3, 2015.