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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.
News

Investigative Team Briefs UN General Assembly

Update: The International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism concluded a cooperation agreement with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria in March 2018. (New York) – UN member states should fully fund and cooperate with a…
Catherine Marchi-Uhel, head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), attends a news conference on Syria crimes at the United Nations in Geneva, September 5, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News

Foreign ISIS Detainees Raise Due Process, Victim Participation Issues

(Beirut) – The capture of two British men suspected of involvement in the Islamic State’s (also known as ISIS) torture and execution of Western hostages highlights the need to provide trials for ISIS suspects that respect due process…
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces removes an Islamic State flag in the town of Tabqa, west of Raqqa city, Syria, April 30, 2017. © 2017 Getty Images
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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.
News

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

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. …
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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…
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57 States Press for ICC Referral

Update: On January 15, the number of signatories reached 58. (New York) – A letter sent to the United Nations Security Council on behalf of 57 states calling for a referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) gives momentum…
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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Humanitarian Aid, Safe Passage for Civilians Essential

(Tunis) – Governments at the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunis on February 24, 2012, should enlist the support of Russia and China to push Syria to stop its indiscriminate shelling of residential neighborhoods in the city of Homs, Human Rights Watch…
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Arab League Should Set Clear Conditions for a Credible Mission

(New York) – The Syrian government should comply with all the terms of its agreement with the Arab League, Human Rights Watch said today ahead of a January 8, 2012 meeting of the Arab League to discuss its monitoring mission in Syria. The Arab League…
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Arab League Should Demand Access to All Sites Used for Detention

(New York) – Syrian authorities have transferred perhaps hundreds of detainees to off-limits military sites to hide them from Arab League monitors now in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The Arab League should insist on full access to all…
News

UN Commission Should Investigate Ambulance Shooting in Homs

(New York) – A merciless attack on a Red Crescent ambulance is the latest evidence of grave danger to humanitarian workers in the embattled Syrian city of Homs, Human Rights Watch said today. The September 7, 2011 attack on the ambulance by unknown…
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(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should freeze the assets of the Syrian National Oil Company, Syrian National Gas Company, and the Central Bank of Syria until the Syrian government ends gross human rights abuses against its citizens, Human Rights…