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New Resolution Forms Expert Group to Probe Racism in Policing

The United Nations Human Rights Council recently adopted a milestone UN resolution to create an independent mechanism, made up of three experts, to investigate the root causes of systemic racism and police violence. Brought forward by the Group of…
Demonstrators kneel outside the Long Beach Police Department in Long Beach, California during a protest on May 31, 2020. 
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The 21st Century Movement for Repair

The first government proposal to repair the damage of US slavery was Special Field Order No. 15 from civil war general William T. Sherman. The wartime order from Sherman, who led Union soldiers, allotted 40 acres of land to some newly freed Black families…
A sculpture of African slaves by Ghanaian artist, Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, at the beginning of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. 
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Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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Unanimous Resolution Brings Scrutiny to Global Violations

The United Nations Human Rights Council is moving against systemic racism and police violence – including in the United States. On June 19, the 47-member council unanimously passed a resolution mandating that the UN high commissioner for human…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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Even after five years of horror in Syria, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced, the extent of atrocities in Aleppo is hitting new highs as Syrian government forces advance on the rebel-held eastern part of the city. Syria’s commercial…
Ruins of a residential house that was struck in an aerial attack, killing at least 24 civilians, on September 27, 2016.
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Background 1) The former Libyan government headed by Muammar Gaddafi controlled and repressed civil society and promised but failed to deliver much-needed human rights reforms. Under Gaddafi, Libya maintained harsh restrictions on rights to freedom of…
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Follow @hrw //--> Shin Dong-hyuk is the only man born in one of North Korea’s camps for political prisoners, called kwan-li-so, who is known to have escaped. In the camp, he was forced to do back-breaking labor and went hungry for days on end.…
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Cops Stop Harrassing Sex Workers for Carrying Condoms

Sex workers in San Francisco, Washington DC, and part of New York State can now carry condoms – protecting themselves and their clients from HIV/AIDS – without fearing that police will use the condoms as evidence of prostitution. In July, Human Rights…
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Sri Lanka— Summary of Main Issues of Concern The Sri Lankan government has failed to advance justice for the victims of the country’s 26-year-long armed conflict in the three years since the war ended. The government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation…
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April 2011

Although Singapore's constitution guarantees rights to free expression, peaceful assembly, and association, these rights are severely restricted in practice. Government-dominated control of media outlets is exacerbated by an interlocking system of laws…
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Preventing needless suffering of the terminally ill in India

In January, years of joint advocacy by Human Rights Watch and Indian palliative care groups culminated in the Medical Council of India recognizing palliative care as a specialization of medicine and approving an MD Palliative Care program. Over time, this…
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October 2010

Singapore has been governed since 1959 by the People's Action Party (PAP), which currently occupies 82 of 84 parliamentary seats. During that period, the government has maintained a carefully crafted legal and policy structure that reinforces its power…
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Mohamed Jawad was a teenager living in a Pakistani refugee camp when he was recruited by Afghan militia, drugged and forced into combat in Afghanistan. Eventually, he was captured. Afghan authorities beat him and made him confess to throwing a grenade at…
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On August 24, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a federal prosecutor to review cases of post-9/11 detainee abuse and determine whether or not a criminal investigation is warranted.  Human Rights Watch has collected information on some 330 cases…
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Contents Overview Conventionon the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Convention on the Rights of the Child Convention against Enforced Disappearance Mine Ban Treaty Convention on Cluster Munitions Convention on…
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Global Drug Policy Review is an Opportunity to Ensure Human Rights-based Drug Policy

In many countries around the world, drug control efforts result in serious human rights abuses - torture and ill-treatment by police, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, and denial of essential medicines and basic health services.  UN drug…
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Human Rights Watch and the International Harm Reduction Association prepared this overview to assist country delegations during key debates at the UN High Level Meeting on drugs in March 2009 by showing the extent of support from international agencies…