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20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
News

Discriminatory Nationality Law Denies Right to Education

As another school year is about to begin in Lebanon, the country’s education minister, Tarek Majzoub, has issued a decision which will mean many children cannot attend school. The impact of his decision is to exclude children whose mothers are…
A classroom sits empty at a school in Loueizeh, east of Beirut, Lebanon, March 2, 2020.
News

Lead Poisoning Victims Await Justice, Compensation

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration at the United Nations. October 24 is United Nations Day, marking the day the UN Charter officially came into effect in 1945. The Charter includes the commitment to protect human rights. But on the…
Houses in Kosovo
News

Roma Were Exposed to Toxic Lead in UN-Run Camps

  Yesterday, 55 Members of the European Parliament wrote to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, expressing dismay at the UN’s failure to remedy harm inflicted on ethnic minorities in northern Kosovo following the end of the war…
News

Open Waste Burning Continues to Pose Health Risks Across Country

After years of researching Lebanon’s waste crisis, I was horrified to find out it had come to my family’s village. Open waste burning at unregulated dumps across Lebanon creates serious health risks for people living nearby. Mine and…
Smoke rising from the smoldering dump at Qabrikha, October 11, 2018, Qabrikha, Lebanon.
News

Using Robotic Technology to Research Waste Burning in Lebanon

Human Rights Watch released a report this month that included, for the first time in our history, photographic evidence that we collected with a semi-autonomous robotic plane, commonly called a drone. Built by Sensefly, a…
A drone-acquired image of a garbage dump in Bar Elias, Lebanon, where open burns are harming the health of nearby residents.
News

Roma Afflicted with Lead Poisoning in UN-Run Camps

The United Nations may be undermining its own efforts to promote human rights, at a time when rights are under threat worldwide. That’s the view of a UN panel of experts, which investigated complaints of human rights violations by…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug Camp outside Trepca mine, on the outskirts of Mitrovica, June 22, 2009.
News

Body Ignores Own Advice to Give Clear Apology for Tragedy that was UN’s Fault

It looked like justice for Kosovo’s lead-poisoning victims was finally within reach. Former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson convened a meeting in December 2016, just as he and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were preparing to hand the…
News

Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.