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Leaders Show Little Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Last week, an appeals panel of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) upheld the 2017 genocide conviction of Bosnian Serb wartime military commander Ratko Mladić. Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said of Mladić, “His name…
A woman among the graves of victims of the Srebrenica genocide, at the memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
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Migrants Face Human Rights Abuses at EU Borders; Impunity Persists

Dawn was breaking when Akram and around 20 others dragged themselves up the banks of the Glina river, their bodies bruised from beatings by Croatian police officers. Some of them were barefoot and so badly injured they could barely walk. Akram was back…
Migrants warm their hands above a fire in Bosnia and Herzegovina, January 11, 2021.
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Commissioner’s Visit Underscores EU Responsibility to Find Solutions

European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson’s visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina this week has highlighted the EU’s role in alleviating the suffering of migrants and asylum seekers in the country. During her visit, Johansson emphasized…
Migrants warm their hands above a fire at the Lipa camp, outside Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monday, January 11, 2021. The camp was closed on December 23, 2020 and destroyed in a fire the same day. 
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Long-Term Housing, Care Urgently Needed

(Brussels) – Bosnian authorities should immediately provide adequate, winterized accommodation for migrants and asylum seekers stranded in freezing temperatures in the northwestern part of the country, Human Rights Watch said today. After a fire…
Migrants warm their hands above a fire at the Lipa camp, outside Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monday, January 11, 2021. The camp was closed on December 23, 2020 and destroyed in a fire the same day. 
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Put Constitutional Reform Back on the Agenda

(London) – Bosnian politicians still have not ended second-class status for Jews, Roma, and other minorities a decade after the European Court of Human Rights found that the Bosnian constitution violates their rights, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Bosnian politicians still have not ended second-class status for Jews, Roma, and other minorities a decade after the European Court of Human Rights found that the Bosnian constitution violates their rights. Following the court’s decision, it ruled in…
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Abuses Should Rule Out Schengen Accession

 (Budapest) – The European Commission’s October 22, 2019 conclusion that Croatia is ready to join the Schengen Area wilfully brushes over evidence of violent pushbacks of migrants at its borders, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing a video…
A migrant who claims he was beaten by Croatian police while attempting to cross the border to Croatia shows his injury at a factory hall turned migrants facility in Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Wednesday, March 13, 2019.
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The European Commission’s October 22, 2019 conclusion that Croatia is ready to join the Schengen Area wilfully brushes over evidence of violent pushbacks of migrants at its borders.
News

Relocate Migrants to Decent Accommodation Elsewhere

Over a year after Human Rights Watch first criticized Bosnia’s failure to protect the basic rights of migrants and asylum seekers, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is warning of a fast-developing humanitarian emergency…
Migrants and asylum seekers in camp Vucjak where 2,500 people are now living in inhumane conditions without water, electricity, and medical care, Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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End Detention in Shelters, Provide More Support

(Abuja) – Many survivors of sex and labor trafficking struggle with unaddressed health challenges, poverty, and abhorrent conditions upon their return to Nigeria. Nigerian authorities have failed to provide the assistance that survivors need to…
A woman from Cameroon sits with her baby in a private shelter in Lagos, Nigeria.
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New Momentum for African LGBT Movements

(Johannesburg) – The High Court in Botswana ruled on June 11, 2019 that laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional, Human Rights Watch said today. The ruling upheld the rights of the country’s lesbian, gay,…
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Bitter Wartime Memories Highlight Need for Safe Schools Declaration

I was 8 years old when I learned how war can affect education. Along with thousands of other children caught in the tumult of the Bosnian war, from 1992 to 1995, I had no safe school to go to. Instead of being safe places for…
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Violence, Abuse; Denied Opportunity to Apply for Asylum

(Budapest) – Croatian police are pushing migrants and asylum seekers back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, and without giving them the possibility to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch interviewed…
Migrants including asylum seekers in a dilapidated building in Borici camp, Bihac, Bosnia Herzegovina. November 19, 2018.
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Entitled to Consultation on Communal Ownership

  (Washington, DC) – A draft law before the Antigua and Barbuda Senate would deprive Barbudans of communal land where they have lived for generations, Human Rights Watch said today. The Antigua and Barbuda government should consult with the…
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…