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People’s Protection Units Enlist Under 18s from Vulnerable Families

(Beirut) – The People’s Protection Units (YPG), the largest member of the Syrian Democratic Forces military alliance in northeast Syria, has been recruiting children, including girls, and using some in hostilities despite pledges to…
Ain Issa displaced persons camp, one of three camps in northeast Syria where Human Rights Watch found the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) have been recruiting children for military participation, June 2017.
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More International Support Needed for Clearance

(Beirut) – Homemade landmines have killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including more than 150 children, in Raqqa, Syria since the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) was pushed out of the city in October 2017, Human Rights Watch…
Warning about mines written on outside wall of building in Raqqa, Syria, January 21, 2018.
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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Many Countries Call for Law to Keep Human Control

(Geneva) – Countries meeting in Geneva on November 13-24, 2017, missed a chance to move ahead to prevent the development of weapons systems that would select and engage targets without meaningful human control, Human Rights…
As the debate about “killer robots” continues, the threat they pose looms large.
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Protection Gaps Increase Children’s Vulnerability

(Beirut) – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has recruited Afghan immigrant children living in Iran to fight in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. Afghan children as young as 14 have fought in the Fatemiyoun division,…
Tombstones of Afghan child soldiers buried in Iran.
News

Lessons for Impending Battles in Iraq and Syria

(Beirut) – Homemade landmines have killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including dozens of children, in Manbij, a city in northern Syria. The antipersonnel mines, often called improvised explosive devices, were planted by the…
A family member stands next to the graves of three children who were killed when an explosive device planted by ISIS in a school in Manbij detonated on September 27.
News

Turkey Should Clear Minefields, Relocate Refugees

(Istanbul) – Landmines placed decades ago by the Turkish military have killed at least three civilians trying to flee Syria and injured at least nine others, Human Rights Watch said today. The landmines, in a restricted zone along the border with Syria,…
News

Recruitment Under the Guise of ‘Education’

Non-state armed groups in Syria have used children as young as 15 to fight in battles, sometimes recruiting them under the guise of offering education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The groups have used children as young as 14 in…
News

Arbitrary Arrests, Unfair Trials; Use of Child Soldiers

(New York) – Kurdish authorities running three enclaves in northern Syria have committed arbitrary arrests, due process violations, and failed to address unsolved killings and disappearances, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. …
News

Global Campaign to Finalize, Implement Protection Guidelines

Geneva - The Norwegian government’s leadership to promote international standards to protect schools and universities from military use during armed conflict could spare students and teachers the horrors of war, the Global Coalition to Protect Education…
News

Boys Report Serving as Fighters, Guards, and Lookouts

(New York) – Armed opposition groups fighting in Syria are using children for combat and other military purposes, Human Rights Watch said today. Children as young as 14 have served in at least three opposition brigades, transporting weapons and supplies…
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Secretary General’s Report Should Prompt Security Council Sanctions

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council should impose an arms embargo and other targeted sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, on the Syrian leadership in response to widespread killings and other grave violations against children.…
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Witnesses Describe Troops Placing Mines Near Turkey, Lebanon Borders

(New York) – Syrian forces have placed landmines near the borders with Lebanon and Turkey in recent weeks and months, Human Rights Watch said today, based on reports and confirmations from witnesses and Syrian deminers. Civilian casualties have already…
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More than 22 million antipersonnel mines have been destroyed from the arsenals of at least fifty nations, and the number of new landmine victims is dropping sharply in heavily mined countries like Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Mozambique,…