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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.
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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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Remarks by Nujeen Mustafa at “A Year after UNSC Resolution 2475: Let’s Define Concrete Steps to Protect People with Disabilities in Armed Conflict" on December 3, 2020

Good morning and good afternoon everyone, My name is Nujeen Mustafa. I was born with cerebral palsy and I use a wheelchair. In 2015, I fled the war from Syria to Germany. Today, I am an advocate for the rights of refugees and people with…
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Close Legal Loopholes to Prevent Further Civilian Suffering

(Geneva) – The horrific burns and life-long suffering caused by incendiary weapons demand that governments urgently revise existing treaty standards, Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic said in a report…
اوربلونکې وسله چې د ۲۰۱۶ کال د جون پر ۲۲مه د سوريې د حلب ښار پر کفر همراه کلي لګېدلې ده.
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Nigerian Advocate Hauwa Ojeifo Is Inaugural Fellow

(New York) – Human Rights Watch has selected a Nigerian human rights advocate, Hauwa Ojeifo, as the recipient of its inaugural Marca Bristo Fellowship, an award created in memory of the pioneering disability rights icon, Human Rights Watch announced…
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When Akanni’s mother died in early 2018, she stopped eating for three weeks. Her mood became unpredictable; she was often shouting or sulking angrily. Medicine from a local pharmacist didn’t help. At a loss for what to do to handle the trauma, Akanni’s…
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White Phosphorus Should Be Included on the List

(Geneva) – Russia should support, not block, diplomatic talks about possible action to address the civilian harm caused by the use of incendiary weapons, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  Issued…
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News

Memorandum to Delegates of the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

  Ten years ago, images of white phosphorus munitions raining fire on populated areas of Gaza generated international outrage and sparked discussions of incendiary weapons at the United Nations. The Israel Defense Forces’ use of white…
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President Muhammadu Buhari said in October 2019 of the Islamic rehabilitation centers that he would not “tolerate the existence of the torture chambers and physical abuses of inmates in the name of rehabilitation.” But the government has yet to…
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Ban Chaining; Provide Mental Health Services

  (Abuja, November 11, 2019) – Thousands of people with mental health conditions across Nigeria are chained and locked up in various facilities where they face terrible abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. Detention, chaining, and…
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International Norms Ignored as Civilians Suffer

(Beirut) – The Russian-Syrian joint military operation has used internationally banned and other indiscriminate weapons in unlawful attacks on civilians in northwest Syria in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. According to the…
A man inspects the destruction left by overnight air strikes targeting residential areas at Kafr Nabl in the rebel-held Idlib Province, Syria, May 20 2019.
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Nujeen Mustafa is First Person with a Disability to Brief Security Council

“It was surreal.” That’s how 20-year-old Nujeen Mustafa described the experience Wednesday of being the first person with a disability to brief the United Nations Security Council in New York. In her address,…
A young woman speaking at the UN Security Council
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Statement by Ms. Nujeen Mustafa during the United Nations Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria on April 24, 2019

Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Mr. President, your Excellencies, Civil Society colleagues, Ladies, and Gentlemen, My name is Nujeen Mustafa and I am 20 years old from Aleppo, Syria. I have cerebral palsy and use a…
News

Offers Hope of Inclusion, Improved Access

On January 23, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018,  following 9 years of relentless advocacy by disability rights groups and activists.…
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Delivered by Bonnie Docherty, Senior Researcher

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson. The exceptional cruelty and ongoing use of incendiary weapons demand a global response. Over the past year, Human Rights Watch has documented thirty new attacks with incendiary weapons across six…
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Memorandum to Delegates of the 2018 Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

Incendiary weapons are among the cruelest weapons used in contemporary armed conflict. These weapons, which produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable substance, cause excruciating burns and destroy…
Des habitants tentent d'éteindre des incendies provoqués par une attaque à l'arme incendiaire dans l'ouest d'Idlib, Syrie, 30 juillet 2018.
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Spotlighting Inadequate International Law

(Geneva) – Countries at an upcoming United Nations disarmament conference, faced with evidence of 30 new incendiary weapons attacks in Syria, should agree to strengthen the international law that governs their use, Human Rights Watch said in a…
Incendiary weapons were used in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, in March 2018, causing more than 260 civilian casualties.
News
The endgame of the war in Syria is likely to come down to the northwestern province of Idlib, on the Turkish border, where some 2.3 million people are now trapped. As Russian-Syrian forces now finish retaking the smaller southwestern…
A mother shows a picture of her son, who was detained by authorities in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, Syria, March 20, 2016. She has not heard any news about her son since then.