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Safe Schools Conference in Abuja Shows Government Action Can Bring Progress

Nearly two decades ago, I first heard brave Afghan students and teachers describe armed attacks on their schools and threats to their lives as they struggled to learn and teach. Today, I am in Abuja, Nigeria, for the Fourth International Conference on…
Safe Schools Conference in Abuja Shows Progress Is Possible
News

Prosecute Those Responsible for Abusing Protesters

(Abuja) – The victims are still awaiting justice a year after security forces violently suppressed protests calling for an end to police brutality in Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said today. The prospects for accountability remain inconclusive and…
#EndSARS protesters hold up signs, including a Nigerian flag with a message calling for the disbandment of the abusive police unit, during protests on October 15, 2020 in Alausa Lagos, Nigeria.
News

Rise in Poverty, Hunger Shows Need to Expand Social Protection

(Nairobi) – The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for African governments to strengthen social protection systems and fulfill people’s rights to social security and an adequate standard of living. Many African governments introduced…
Africa Social
News

The ostensible assault on LGBT+ rights in Hungary, Poland and Russia has a very big target—anyone who signs up to universal norms.

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, used the visit by the pope to Budapest last month to advance his populist agenda. He said he had been encouraged by his meeting with Frances to advance ‘family values’. Indeed, Orbán claimed to have…
An activist holding the EU flag during a protest in Warsaw against “LGBT ideology free zones”. ©2021 Attila Husejnow / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
News
Over 10 million children are out of school in Nigeria and the global pandemic has only made it harder for young people to stay in school. There have been dire consequences for girls, who are at risk of being married off. In a recent report,…
A woman protests against child marriage in Lagos, Nigeria.
News

European Union Should Be Clear That Systemic Violations, Impunity Have Consequences

(Brussels) –  The European Union should publicly set out a clear framework with short timelines for Sri Lanka to comply with its human rights commitments and retain tariff-free access to the EU market, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the…
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News

Incidents Highlight Abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act

As the Sri Lankan government was assuring foreign diplomats of its commitment to human rights, the country’s minister for prisons was on a drunken, armed rampage in two prisons, some 200 kilometers apart.   On Sunday, Lohan Ratwatte reportedly…
Prison guards at the main entrance of Welikada prison in Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 2019.
News

Member States Should Disregard Government’s Baseless Claims

(Geneva) – The United Nations Human Rights Council should maintain its rigorous scrutiny of Sri Lanka’s worsening human rights situation and press for genuine improvements, Human Rights Watch said today. At the Council’s upcoming session, which…
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News

Visit Puts Orban Government’s Cruel Migration Policies Under Spotlight

On September 12, Budapest will welcome the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, a Pope whose message constantly called for welcoming migrants and refugees. But Hungary’s treatment of people seeking protection is a far cry from Pope Francis’…
Pope Francis unveils the sculpture on the theme of refugees and migration ' Angels Unawares ' by Canadian sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz, on Migrant and Refugee World Day, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.
News

Campaign of Intimidation, Blocking Legal Remedies

As the world prepares to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, justice is further away than ever in Sri Lanka. Despite calls for answers over many years, the government has prevented families of the disappeared from…
A group of women holding black-and-white photos of men
News
Water mixed with salt was dinner for Umar Abubaker and his family of eight, including three young children, for many nights during Nigeria’s five-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Before the lockdown, Abubakar, who has a physical…
A man reading the newspaper "The Nation"
News

Rights Groups Express Concern Over Sri Lankan Police Abuses

(London) – The Scottish government should provide details of a review of Police Scotland training for Sri Lankan police, Human Rights Watch, Freedom from Torture, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, and Pax Christi Scotland said in a letter…
Sri Lankan police officers patrol a Muslim neighborhood after the Easter Sunday bombings, Colombo, April 26, 2019.
News

To Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scotland

Dear Justice Secretary Brown, We are writing on behalf of four human rights organisations for clarity about the current status of Police Scotland’s longstanding arrangement to train the Sri Lankan police. The situation in Sri Lanka has deteriorated…
News

Suspend International Assistance to Abusive Law Enforcement Agencies

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s police are increasingly killing and abusing people under cover of the Covid-19 pandemic measures and an anti-drug campaign, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent police abuses reported in the media include alleged…
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News

Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
News

Release Hejaaz Hizbullah and Others Denied Due Process under Abusive Law

Joint Statement  July 28, 2021 (New York) – Human Rights Watch joined 10 other organizations on July 28, 2021 in issuing the following statement seeking the release of the lawyer and activist Hejaaz Hizbullah and others held under Sri Lanka’s…
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Report
Summary Margaret Okuomo lives with her seven children in Ago Egun Bariga, a waterside slum community in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous state and the epicenter of the country’s fight against Covid-19. Lagos, although Nigeria’s wealthiest state, has…
News

Inadequate Support Highlights Need for Expanded Social Security System

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the plight of families living in poverty in Lagos State, Nigeria and left many people struggling to afford food and meet other basic needs. Survey data shows federal and state government…
A group of women wait for food relief distribution
News

Reporting Not Matched by Action to Protect Democratic Institutions

The launch of the European Commission’s latest report on the state of rule of law in the European Union should be a milestone. It contains dozens of pages of analysis for each EU country on threats to democratic institutions, covering judicial…
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders delivers the opening statements during a plenary session on the Commissions 2020 Rule of law report at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on June 23, 2021.