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Law Could Strengthen Effective Prosecution of War Crimes

(Kyiv) A bill adopted by Ukraine’s parliament on May 20, 2021, could help authorities prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity domestically, Human Rights Watch said today. The law, On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts on the…
Lawmakers attend a parliament session in Kiev, Ukraine December 21, 2017.
News
While eyes were fixed on elections in the United States last week, a president in Europe resigned to face trial for atrocity crimes committed more than 20 years ago. Kosovo’s Specialist Prosecutor’s Office formally charged President…
Then-President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.  ©2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
News

Witness Protection Essential

(Brussels) – The indictment made public on June 24, 2020 against Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and other former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders advances justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human…
Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. © 2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
News
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Your Excellency, We respectfully call on your government to immediately ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which Ukraine signed in 2000 and take all necessary measures to fight…
News

Impunity Hampers Sustainable Peace

This week marks 20 years since the end of the Kosovo war. What began as systematic Serbian state oppression led to attacks by an ethnic Albanian armed group, a vicious government response, and 78 days of NATO airstrikes. …
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News
As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
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
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
News

Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
News
It was just a bolt of pink cotton lying on the floor of a school gym but more than 20 years later, it haunts me still – soldiers tore off strips of that cloth, blindfolded dozens of men, trucked them to a nearby field, shot them, and buried all but a…
Two Bosnian Muslim women cry over a coffin July 10, 2005 with remains of their relative in a factory hall in Potocari where 610 victims of Srebrenica massacre wait for the funeral.
Report
Summary The fighting was right in the city center. Our school changed hands: some forces came in, then left and were replaced by others. The fighters were inside the school firing out of the windows. The missing piece of the…
News

Protect Students, Schools by Joining Safe Schools Declaration

(Berlin) – Hostilities in eastern Ukraine have damaged or destroyed hundreds of schools, many of which were used by parties to the conflict for military purposes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  …
Cover imageA former student, 13, stands in a damaged school in Vuhlehirsk.
News
Nina Nikolayevna prefers to focus on the good times.   When the school principal reminisces about the celebrations they used to hold at School Number 3, she is animated and passionate.   There was the Saint…
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News
It’s September, the beginning of a new school year in Ukraine, but the children of the small village of Nikishine in eastern Ukraine no longer have a school to go to.   Before the war, 58 children attended the village school…
School in Nikishine, eastern Ukraine, damaged during fighting between Ukrainian government and rebel forces from Aug. 2014 to Feb. 2015.
News

Witness Protection Required

(Brussels) - The Kosovo government and assembly took an important step toward justice on August 3, 2015, by creating a special court to try serious crimes committed after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human Rights Watch said today. The Kosovo government and…
News

Meeting in Washington with Prime Minister

(Washington, DC) – US Vice President Joe Biden should urge Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucić to take concrete steps to advance human rights protection, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Biden released today. Biden and Vucić will meet this week…