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Oral Statement at HRC48

Today’s Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on Tigray – 10 months into a devastating conflict – is a welcome if belated step towards international scrutiny and accountability. Ethiopia’s federal government continues its de facto blockade of the Tigray region…
Tigrinyan refugee women prepare bread for their family in Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan on December 11, 2020 
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Fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region is entering its ninth month, and it may intensify after leaders in several of Ethiopia’s regions as well as its capital, Addis Ababa, called on residents, including youth, to mobilize against the Tigray…
Tigrayans who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region stand on a hilltop overlooking Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, November 26, 2020
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Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on High Commissioner’s annual report

High Commissioner, last session you underlined the importance of an “independent and comprehensive assessment of the rights situation” in Xinjiang, and indicated your Office was assessing reports of “arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and sexual…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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To Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council (Geneva, Switzerland) Your Excellency, We, the undersigned human rights non-governmental organizations, strongly urge the UN Human Rights…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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Item 2 - General Debate on the High Commissioner's Report

High Commissioner, Your landmark report on the human rights impacts of Covid-19 highlights the indivisibility of rights, and reminds states of the need to address global inequalities in basic rights; reform healthcare systems; ensure equitable…
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Laetitia Bader, Human Rights Watch’s Horn of Africa Director, recently returned from a research mission in Sudan to interview refugees who fled the fighting that broke out in Ethiopia’s Tigray region in early November 2020. For several weeks, federal…
People who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region ride a bus to the Village 8 temporary shelter near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, December 1, 2020. 
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35th Ordinary Session

Human Rights Watch respectfully submits this written presentation to contribute testimony from children to the discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on children at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of…
Schoolchildren attend class at a school in Norton, west of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, September 10, 2019.
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Kenyans are speaking about divorce more openly than ever before. But women still face insurmountable difficulty when trying to claim matrimonial property after divorce. Human Rights Watch found that the process for dividing up this property discriminates…
Women registering for a community dialogue meeting organized by the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) with the Milimani Law Courts in Kibera, Nairobi.
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Pandemic Threatens Refugee Camps, Densely Populated Urban Areas

What are your main concerns about the coronavirus moving through Africa? In many countries where we work there is an extremely weak public health and healthcare infrastructure. The fact that the spread in Africa has been slower than elsewhere…
A member of the Senegalese graffiti collective "RBS CREW" paints informational murals advising how to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, on the wall of a high school in the Parcelles Assainies neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal, March 25, 2020.
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Several months later, in August 2018, the Somali Region’s president at the time, Abdi Illey – was arrested. As president of the Somali region, he was ultimately responsible for regional security forces in the region. He was replaced by Mustafa Omar, a…
Decorations on a ceiling in Jail Ogaden
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Genuine Progress on Rights, Yet Ethnic Tensions Loom in Rural Regions

How has Ethiopia changed since you were last there? Addis Ababa, the capital, has changed so much. Unlike before, modern asphalt roads are everywhere, there are freeways, tall, modern shiny buildings, lots of new restaurants…
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Activists in Lamu Challenge Power Despite Threats

Tell me about Lamu and the activists you spoke to. Lamu county is a beautiful, scenic tourist destination with long white beaches lined with palm trees and hotels and cafes catering to foreign and domestic tourists. The mostly-Muslim…
Residents and environmental activists  protesting against  lack of consultations and government failure to address environmental concerns in respect ofo the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project in Lamu island, Kenya, March 1, 2012.
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Ethiopia’s Regional Special Police Tortured, Beat Detainees

Why did you focus on Jail Ogaden? We have researched human rights issues in Ethiopia’s Somali Region for a long time. We released a report in 2008 showing how the military in the Somali region of Ethiopia displaced thousands of people and…
Satellite image of Jail Ogaden May 2016.
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Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

We welcome the first report of the Independent Expert on SOGI-related violence and discrimination. We recognize that some States opposed creation of the mandate, but are encouraged that it was reaffirmed by the General Assembly with support from all UN…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
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Kenya will hold presidential and general elections in August. Campaigns are a difficult time for Kenyans, who may associate voting with tension and chaos. They keenly remember how 2007 post-election violence split groups down ethnic…
An anti-riot police officer aims a teargas canister while journalists cover an anti-corruption protest in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. November 3, 2016.
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Human Rights Watch Statement on Ethiopia to US Congress

Human Rights Watch Statement to US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Thursday, March 9, 2017 Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, members of the…
Armed security officials watch as protesters stage a protest against government during the Irreechaa cultural festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on October 02, 2016.