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Item 6 - Universal Periodic Review

We regret that the government of Saint Lucia has, once again, refused to accept the recommendations to decriminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults. Articles 132 and 133 of the criminal code punish so-called “gross indecency” and “…
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.
News

“Baby S” Runs Risk of Being Stateless

A child born to Bulgarian and British mothers has been denied Bulgarian citizenship and is now at risk of being stateless. “Baby S” was born in December 2019 in Spain and although the baby’s birth certificate was issued by Spain with both mothers…
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News

Clarify Legal Basis Or Release

(Budapest) – Bulgarian authorities should clarify the legal basis for the continued detention of an Australian citizen, Jock Palfreeman, or release him immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. Palfreeman appears to have been…
Bulgaria's prosecutor general Sotir Tsatsarov, right, speaks during a press conference in Sofia, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
News

Halt Attacks on Bulgarian Helsinki Committee; Dismiss Bogus Request

(Berlin) – Bulgaria’s prosecutor general should reject a call from a political party in the country’s governing coalition to disband the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), Human Rights Watch said today. The party has been in legal battles for…
Bulgaria's prosecutor general Sotir Tsatsarov, right, speaks during a press conference in Sofia, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
News
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. “
News

European Bodies Should Act to Counter Misleading, Dangerous Judgment

The reported rape and murder of journalist Victoria Marinova, 30, in Bulgaria this weekend raises concerns about threats to media freedom. But it also serves as a stark reminder that Bulgaria should prioritize efforts to combat violence against women.…
women uk
News

A Story of Rights, Fights and Hope

This is the story of how a key political body within the Council of Europe sought to circumvent a United Nations Convention protecting the rights of people with disabilities. It’s also about how one of its members, Bulgaria, is publicly…
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News
  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

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
On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
News

Municipality Should Protect Pride March

The June 10th pride march in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, is an opportunity for the country to showcase diversity and tolerance. Authorities can start by pledging up front to protect marchers from a group calling on counter-demonstrators…
Participants march in the 2014 Sofia Pride parade in Bulgaria’s capital.
News

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

Investigate Crimes against Journalists, Protect Independent Press

(Berlin) – Journalists across the Western Balkans face a hostile environment that impedes their ability to do critical reporting. More than a year after Human Rights Watch documented impediments to media freedom in Bosnia and…
Balkan media under threat
News

Investigative Journalist Should be Free on Bail as Trial Proceeds

Update: On January 15, 2019, the Higher Court in Podgorica found Martinovic guilty and sentenced him to 18 months in prison for alleged drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organization. He will appeal the verdict. Martinovic already served 14…
Freelance journalist Jovo Martinović
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.