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Switzerland and Liberia Should Build on Important Progress

(Geneva) – The conviction of a former Liberian rebel leader by a Swiss court for war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war is a landmark step for Liberian victims and Switzerland’s efforts to hold those responsible for grave crimes to account, Human…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
News

Surge in State-Sponsored Harassment

(Johannesburg) – Ghana’s attorney general should drop charges against 21 human rights defenders who face ongoing judicial harassment after attending a paralegal training session, Human Rights Watch said today. The activists were charged with “unlawful…
People who were detained by police on suspicion of promoting an LGBT agenda at an unlawful assembly arrive at a court for a bail hearing in Ho, Volta Region, Ghana on June 4, 2021.
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Meager Government Aid Leaves Children Working Long Hours for Little Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
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Children in Ghana, Nepal, Uganda Describe Grueling Hours, Low Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
News

Victims, Witnesses to Testify

(Geneva) – The trial of a former Liberian rebel leader arrested in Switzerland for alleged war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war will start its second important phase on February 15, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch issued…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
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Switzerland Should Bolster Efforts in Cases of Serious International Crimes

(Geneva) – The trial of a former Liberian rebel leader arrested in Switzerland for alleged war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war is an important step forward for victims, Human Rights Watch said today. On December 3, 2020, a criminal…
Switzerland's national flag flies over the entrance of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (Bundesstrafgericht) in Bellinzona, Switzerland March 5, 2020.
News

International Inquiry Needed

(Accra) – The families of more than 50 Ghanaian and other West African migrants killed in Gambia and Senegal 15 years ago have yet to learn the full truth and obtain justice concerning the massacre, 11 human rights organizations said today. Amid…
Families of massacre victims, in Kumasi Ghana, April 2018.
News

Ensure Equal Access to Treatment; Invest in Community-Based Support

(Brussels) – Ghana’s Accra Psychiatric Hospital has confirmed that a patient has tested positive for Covid-19, causing concern about protection for other patients and staff, Human Rights Watch said today. The infected woman was admitted…
The dormitory in the men’s forensic ward of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital in Ghana. The dormitory has since been refurbished.
News

Enforce Ban on Chaining and Provide Community-Based Services

(Accra) – Faith-based and traditional healing centers in Ghana continue to hold people with real or perceived mental health conditions – psychosocial disabilities – in chains in inhumane conditions despite a 2017 ban on such treatment, Human Rights Watch…
In one traditional healing center, Human Rights Watch found 16 men in a dark, stifling room, all of them with short chains, no longer than half a meter, around their ankles. They called out: “We are suffering here. They are abusing our human rights. Pleas
News

Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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5 UN Rights Monitors Urge Public Reporting of 2005 Killings

(Geneva) – Five United Nations human rights monitors have urged the UN and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to release their report on the 2005 massacre in Gambia of more than 50 Ghanaian and other West African migrants,…
Massacre survivor Martin Kyere at Accra cemetery where six bodies were returned from Gambia.
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Monitoring, Community Mental Health Services Needed to End Abuse

(London) – Hundreds of people with real or perceived mental health conditions remain chained or confined in prayer camps in Ghana, despite some progress, one year after the government pledged to enforce a ban on shackling, Human Rights…
Men sitting on beds and on the floor in a crowded room
News

Victims Seek Justice for 2005 Killings Linked to Ex-President Jammeh

(Dakar) – Two Togolese have recently been discovered to be among about 50 West African migrants massacred in 2005 by a paramilitary unit controlled by former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International said today.…
Kossi Odeyi and Yawovi Agbogbo, two Togolese citizens who were among a group of about 50 West African migrants murdered in Gambia in 2005, by the “Junglers,” a paramilitary unit controlled by former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
News

Some Reforms, but Colonial-Era Law Should be Repealed

(Accra) – Ghanaians who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) suffer widespread discrimination and abuse both in public and in family settings, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While some Ghanaian…
A young lesbian woman at an LGBT community center in Accra, Ghana.
News

Minister of Finance Should Establish Levy for Mental Health

(Accra) – The government of Ghana should ensure adequate funding for mental health services in Ghana, as a crucial step to eliminating the widespread practice of shackling and other abuses against people with psychosocial disabilities,…
A man sits on the ground in shadow
News

Invest in Voluntary Mental Health Services and Support in Communities

(Accra, July 7, 2017) – The Mental Health Authority of Ghana has taken steps to release 16 people, including two girls, held in shackles at Nyakumasi Prayer Camp, a spiritual healing center in the Central Region. Those freed, some of whom have mental…
This girl was among 16 people with real or perceived mental health conditions released from shackles in Nyakumasi Prayer Camp, in Central Region, Ghana, on June 30, 2017
News

Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
News

Deadly Attacks in Syria as Treaty Members Meet

(Geneva) – Nations attending the annual meeting of the international treaty banning cluster munitions on September 7, 2016, condemned the continued use of these weapons in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. During the three-day meeting in Geneva, first…
During President Obama's historic visit to Laos, he met with cluster bomb victims and toured the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) visitors' centre in Vientiane with its operations manager Soksai Sengvongkham.
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Refiners May Benefit from Children’s Hazardous Work in Artisanal Gold Mines

(Accra) – International gold refiners who use gold from Ghana may be benefitting from hazardous child labor in unlicensed mines, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today on the eve of World Day Against Child Labor, June 12, 2015. The refiners…