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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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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…
201911arms_robots_stunt
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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.
Video
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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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…
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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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Eastern Caribbean LGBT Activists Seek Protection, Not Marriage

After Human Rights Watch released a report on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and buggery laws in the Eastern Caribbean, a government minister from Barbados warned against “an attempt to transpose and to…
An unknown man on the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados.
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Eastern Caribbean People Should Know Rihanna Has Spoken Out for LGBT People

“Why are we homophobic in Barbados and other countries in the Eastern Caribbean?” a popular host of a morning television show in Barbados asked me. I was on the island – and his show – to talk about a new Human Rights Watch report about…
Rihanna Drive, Barbados.
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,…
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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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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
News

European Court Upholds Ban on Face Coverings

The European Court of Human Rights has struck another blow to women’s autonomy, ruling in favor of bans on full-face veils enacted in 2011 in Belgium. Echoing a 2014 ruling in S.A.S v. France, the court cited the vague idea…
Salma, a 22-year-old French national living in Belgium who chooses to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, gives an interview to Reuters television outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels in this April 26, 2010 file photo.