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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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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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Whistleblowing Former Spy, Lawyer Face Hearing for Revealing Bugging Operation

(Sydney) – Australian authorities should not prosecute a former Australian spy and his lawyer for exposing government wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. The Magistrates Court in the Australian Capital Territory is scheduled to hold a…
Barrister Bernard Collaery speaks at an event in Sydney.
News

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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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…
Report
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,…
News

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.
News
Canada’s Supreme Court on June 28, 2017 upheld a lower court’s injunction to require Google to delist web pages from a company that had been copying and selling a product belonging to Equustek Solutions Inc.. Google had already delisted all the company’s…
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Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex. The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
News

Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
News
Australia's stake in East Timor's media freedom is rooted in that country's hillside town of Balibo. It was there on October 16, 1975 that invading Indonesian military forces killed, execution-style, five journalists - Greg Shackleton, Tony Stewart, and…
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Official Licensing System Threatens Press Freedom

(New York) – East Timor’s president should refuse to sign a new media law until parliament revises provisions that will chill free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s foreign donors should publicly express concern at the attempts by the…
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NATIONAL PARLIAMENT, RDTL Office of the President Decree No. 10/III Media Act Whereas the right to information, freedom of speech and of the press are fundamental for the consolidation of democracy, the Timorese State prepares to strengthen the media…
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H.E. PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC REQUESTS THE COURT OF APPEAL TO REVIEW MEDIA LAW   Dili, 14 July 2004 - His Excellency the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Taur Matan Ruak, this Monday, 14 July 2014, submitted Decree no. 10/III of the…
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"It's not our role to tell countries what to do. These are internal affairs of the state." These sound like the words of a Chinese official, yet this is what an Australian diplomat told me on a recent visit to South-East Asia. Geographically on the…
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End Censorship Board’s Sweeping Powers

(New York) - The Indonesian government should rescind its censorship of a film depicting a military atrocity prior to Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the government to revoke the…
News

Government Should Prosecute Violence, Prohibit Discrimination

(New York) - The killing of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist, on March 10, 2009, shows a continuing climate of violence based on gender identity that authorities should urgently take steps to combat, Human Rights Watch said today…
News

UN Vote Upholds Council Membership Standards on Rights

(New York) – UN member states enforced the standards they established for the new Human Rights Council by not re-electing Sri Lanka to the body today. Domestic and international human rights advocates who had opposed Sri Lanka’s re-election to the council…