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Set Principled Framework for Aid, Protection, Justice

(Brussels) – The European Union-United Nations sponsored aid conference for Syria on March 29-30, 2021, should prioritize a rights-respecting aid framework that advances urgent protection, humanitarian, and accountability needs, Human Rights Watch…
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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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Expulsions by Municipalities Appear Discriminatory, Lack Due Process

  (Beirut) – At least 13 municipalities in Lebanon have forcibly evicted at least 3,664 Syrian refugees from their homes and expelled them from the municipalities, apparently because of their nationality or religion, while another 42,000…
A clothesline in an informal tent settlement in Bar Elias, Bekaa Governorate, Lebanon. Refugees evicted from the Rayak air base area settled here in January 2018. The refugees say there was no procedure, no written notice, no opportunity to discuss or cha
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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.
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Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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UN General Assembly Should Organize Emergency Special Session

(New York) – The Russian-Syrian coalition committed war crimes during a month-long aerial bombing campaign of opposition-controlled territory in Aleppo in September and October 2016. The Violations Documentation Center…
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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Warring Parties Should Prioritize Protecting Civilians

(New York) – An attack on a United Nations aid convoy and on a Red Crescent warehouse in Aleppo should be investigated as possible war crimes. The apparent airstrikes on September 19, 2016, hit the convoy and building for over three hours with no military…
Damaged medical supplies after an airstrike on Urm al-Kubra town, western Aleppo city, Syria September 20, 2016
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UN Should Build Case to Prosecute

(New York) – Syrian and Russian military attacks on hospitals in recent weeks during the government air campaign in the Aleppo region are causing deaths and injuries and shutting down medical facilities. The United Nations Security Council should ask the…
Men and civil defence members look for survivors after an airstrike on a hospital in the town of Meles, western Idlib city in opposition armed forces-held Idlib province, Syria on August 6, 2016.
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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attacks on Latakia Bus Stations, Hospital

(New York) – A series of car bombings and suicide attacks targeting civilian bus stations and a hospital in Syrian government-controlled areas on May 23, 2016, would appear to constitute war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. The ISIS news agency Amaq…
People inspect the damage after explosions hit the Syrian city of Tartous, in this handout picture provided by the Syrian Arab News Agency on May 23, 2016.
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UN Security Council Should Enforce Resolution 2254

(New York) – Deadly airstrikes on a hospital and a clinic in Aleppo show a disregard for civilian life and may amount to war crimes.    An airstrike on April 27, 2016, that hit al-Quds Hospital and…
A view shows the damage at al-Quds hospital after it was hit by airstrikes, in a rebel-held area of Syria's Aleppo.
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Meager Pledges as 92 Countries Meet

(Geneva) – Representatives of 92 countries failed to pledge more than a slight increase in resettlement places for Syrian refugees at a high-level UN meeting on March 30, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations High…
Syrians arrive at a camp for internally displaced persons on the outskirts of Azaz town, 5 kilometers south of Bab al-Salam and Turkey’s closed Öncüpınar border post on February 6, 2016.
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45,000 Caught Between Aleppo Fighting and Border

(Istanbul) – Turkey should allow Syrians at its border fleeing the fighting in and around Aleppo to seek protection in Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today. Forcing people to remain in a war zone, where they risk death and injury, is…
Syrians arrive at a camp for internally displaced persons on the outskirts of Azaz town, 5 kilometers south of Bab al-Salam and Turkey’s closed Öncüpınar border post on February 6, 2016.
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(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch today issued a question-and-answer document that looks at the nationalities of the people risking their lives on boats on the Mediterranean to reach the European Union. It examines whether the majority of…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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Increase Refugee Resettlement, Asylum Seeker Relocation

  Update, June 26, 2015 At the European Council meeting June 25, EU leaders agreed to “in principle” to resettle 20,000 refugees from abroad and relocate 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece. Leaders…
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Migrants Detail Horrors That Caused Them to Flee

(Brussels) – Human rights abuses in their home countries are the driving force behind the surge in boat migration in the Mediterranean to reach Europe, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. EU leaders should put human rights at the heart of…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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Government Defying UN Resolution

(New York) – The Syrian government has carried out hundreds of new indiscriminate attacks over the past year with air-delivered munitions, including improvised weapons such as barrel bombs. The attacks have had a devastating impact on civilians, killing…
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EU Should Press Sofia to Investigate, Provide Protection

(Brussels) – Bulgarian border police have in the past month forced Syrian asylum seekers back to Turkey and beaten some of them, Human Rights Watch said today based on accounts by victims.   Human Rights Watch documented three separate incidents of…
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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…