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Belgium’s justice system took a long overdue step on January 5 by dismissing terrorism charges against Fayçal Cheffou, a freelance journalist and activist mistaken for a prime suspect in the deadly 2016 Brussels bombings. In addition to being falsely…
Fayçal Cheffou, un journaliste qui a été confondu à tort avec l’« homme au chapeau », l’un des principaux suspects des attentats meurtriers perpétrés à Bruxelles le 22 mars 2016. 
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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In the Democratic Republic of Congo, celebrations for the 60th anniversary of independence on June 30 were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of the usual festivities, the government called for a day of “reflection.” The Belgian king,…
Demonstrators stand on the statue of Leopold II as one of them holds a national flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo during a protest for the end of racial injustice in Brussels, Belgium, June 7, 2020.
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Peace Prize Provides Impetus for Banning Killer Robots

Thousands of children across Belgium studied five shortlisted Peace Prize nominees over the past school year and voted for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots to win the award, given out every three years by the city of Ypres. The prize shows how…
Growing opposition to fully autonomous weapons from various quarters shows how the public conscience supports banning weapons systems that lack meaningful human control.
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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Mobile Unit Helps Keep People Out of the Hospital

(Brussels) – A mobile team in Brussels, Belgium that supports people with psychosocial disabilities, or mental health conditions, in their own homes offers an innovative rights-based alternative to residential psychiatric care, Human…
A young woman riding a bike
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A mobile team that supports people with psychosocial disabilities, or mental health conditions, in their own homes offers an innovative rights-based alternative to residential psychiatric care.
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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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The European elections on 23-26 May are a key moment for candidates to commit to protect our fundamental rights. It’s a chance for European citizens to recognize that the European Parliament helps protect the rule of law, and the human rights and dignity…
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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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Parliament is scheduled to vote today [May 30] on a motion to support a ban on fully autonomous weapons, often called or “killer robots.” Parliament should not hesitate to vote yes to reject these weapons systems that, once activated, would select and…
© 2016 Brian Stauffer for Human Rights Watch
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Focus on Justice, Refugees, Education

(Brussels) - The Friends of Syria Group meeting in Brussels on April 24-25, 2018, should address the war crimes and impunity that characterize the Syria conflict and meet urgent protection and humanitarian needs, Human Rights Watch said…
People walk with their belongings as they flee the rebel-held town of Hammouriyeh, in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta, Syria March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Summary Every day I fear for my safety living in this country because of my sexual orientation. I am alive but if anyone ever find out and wanted to find out, they can kill me …I am an easy target for anything. —Peter, Dominica,…
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Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
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After everything that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experienced in 2017 — from roundups and torture in Chechnya to antigay witch hunts in Egypt and Indonesia, closure of queer-friendly health facilities in…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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Country’s High Court Rules in Favor of Transgender Man

In a legal first for Botswana, the country’s High Court has ruled that a transgender man should be allowed to hold official documents that reflect his gender identity. The judgment is a huge victory for transgender people in Botswana,…
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Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to