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Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice

  (Berlin) – The start of a landmark trial in Germany of two people alleged to be former Syrian intelligence officials on crimes against humanity charges is an important chance for victims to see justice done, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Illustration © 2017 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch
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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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Video, Q&A Highlight Cases Spurred by Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch released a question-and-answer document and video on October 20, 2016 that highlight the groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in European countries of people accused of kidnappings, ill-treatment, and torture in…
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Indiscriminate Attacks Strike Government-Held Areas

(New York) – Opposition armed groups in Syria have indiscriminately attacked civilians in government-held territory with car bombs, mortars, and rockets, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The attacks have killed and maimed hundreds of…
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Kept Hostage for One Month

(New York) – The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) should immediately release the estimated 133 Kurdish boys it has held hostage in northern Syria for a month. ISIS abducted 153 children, ages 13 and 14, from the mostly Kurdish town of Ain…
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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…
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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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Need Swift Implementation to Ensure Safe Delivery Across Frontlines

(New York) – A coalition of 18 international humanitarian, human rights and peace groups welcome the unanimous UN Security Council resolution demanding safe and unhindered humanitarian access – including across conflict lines and across borders – to…
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Powerful Conventional Weapon Kills at Least 12 Students in Raqqa

(New York ) – A Syrian government airstrike using fuel-air explosive bombs hit outside a secondary school in the opposition-held city of Raqqa on September 29, 2013, killing at least 14 civilians. At least 12 of those killed were students attending their…
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Children Interrogated, Arrested; Schools Shelled

(London) – The Syrian government has interrogated students and carried out violent assaults on their protests and military attacks on schools, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.Both government forces and opposition armed groups have…
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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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Military Use Risks Students Lives, Safety, Education

(New York) – The use of schools and other education institutions for military purposes by armed forces and non-state armed groups during wartime endangers students and their education around the world, said the Global Coalition to Protect Education from…
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Security Council Should Impose Sanctions for Targeting Children, Teachers

(New York) – Armed forces and armed groups that attack schools and teachers should face consequences from the United Nations Security Council, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said today. The UN Secretary-General’s annual…
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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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Security Forces Detain Juveniles, Occupy Schools

(New York) – Syrian army and security officers have detained and tortured children with impunity during the past year, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has documented at least 12 cases of children detained under inhumane conditions and…