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When history reflects on the Syrian conflict, a defining hallmark will be the Syrian government’s deliberate targeting of civilians. Backed by Russian forces, the government has rained bombs on markets, hospitals, schools, and homes. In 2019 and 2020,…
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Madam Secretary Grapples with Dilemmas Posed by Fully Autonomous Weapons

One of my favorite TV shows, Madam Secretary, aired an episode on Sunday focusing on “killer robots” or fully autonomous weapons, an issue Human Rights Watch has worked on since 2012. It was heartening to see a mainstream…
Photo from an episode of Madam Secretary that aired on CBS on October 20, 2019.
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This week, the European Union’s top court invalidated the EU’s data retention law, calling into question whether blanket data retention can ever be consistent with human rights requirements. This decision is a major victory for digital rights groups which…
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More impact as of July 12, 2012: Saudi Arabia has said that it will send two female athletes to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Saudi Arabia has announced that it will allow women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time,…
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Government Pledged to Not Use Mines and to Help Clear Mines

Last week in Libya, Human Rights Watch witnessed the destruction of nearly 100 Chinese-made antivehicle landmines – weapons that kill or maim civilians, often children, long after the fighting has stopped. Human Rights Watch discovered a year ago that…
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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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The search engine stops censoring information and ideas in China

Last month, Google - one of the world's most important technology companies - stood up to the Chinese government by making it clear that it will not be complicit in censoring information and ideas. For years, corporations - including Google, Yahoo!,…
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Tweet This Story, Donate Your Facebook Status

On March 1st, Human Rights Watch and other members of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL) are organizing on Twitter and Facebook to tell both the administration and Congress that the US needs to relinquish antipersonnel mines and get on board the…
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View Photos of Cluster Munitions A child lying on a hospital bed, his face blank with shock, his stomach ripped open. Bloodied bodies of civilians strewn in the streets. The look of panic and anguish on a woman's face as she falls under a rain of…
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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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Submitted in Advance of the EU-Georgia Human Rights Dialogue

This note aims to outline key areas of concern in Georgia's human rights record that we hope to see addressed on the occasion of the European Union's upcoming Human Rights Dialogue with Georgia. We believe this dialogue is a crucial opportunity to…
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On March 11, 2009 President Barack Obama signed legislation banning the export of any cluster munitions with a “dud rate” of greater than one percent. Only a tiny fraction of the US arsenal can meet that standard, so the ban is nearly comprehensive. The…
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US Campaign to Ban Landmines Press Release

The Pentagon announced Monday that the US military would continue to use and export even the most unreliable cluster bombs over the next decade. This policy decision comes shortly after 111 countries, including major NATO allies, agreed to a global treaty…
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On February 22-23 the government of Norway and some three dozen other governments—as well as Human Rights Watch and other nongovernmental organizations—will launch a process aimed at developing an international treaty prohibiting the use of cluster…
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Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has granted special asylum rights to lesbian and gay Iranians. According to the ministry’s October 18 statement, the decision was motivated by Human Rights Watch’s forthcoming report on serious and systematic abuse…
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After Human Rights Watch issued a press release on Israel’s use of cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon and sent a letter to the U.S. National Security Advisor, the U.S. State Department blocked the transfer to Israel of 1,300 artillery…
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Citing Human Rights Watch’s work, Dutch members of parliament successfully pressured Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk not to deport lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) asylum-seekers back to Iran, where they face the threat of torture, ill-…
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For years Kenya has been a conduit for arms shipments destined to nearby areas of violent conflict. More recently, the flood of weapons has spilled back into Kenya, making the resort to violence more likely -- and more deadly. The spread of small arms…
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Angola ratified the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty on July 5, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo acceded to the treaty on May 2. The treaty now has 125 State Parties, while another 18 countries have signed but not yet ratified this landmark agreement. HRW is…