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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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Condemn Official’s Anti-Gay Statements

(New York) – Burma’s government should publicly condemn grossly discriminatory remarks by a regional official about gay men and transgender women, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to senior Burmese officials. The Burmese government is obligated…
Participant Mummy Sein, 79, attends an event celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Rangoon, Burma on May 17, 2013.
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Justice Minister’s Opposition Violates European Norms

(Berlin) –The Lithuanian justice minister’s blanket rejection of a gender neutral bill to allow civil partnerships contravenes European standards, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis released today. The minister was…
Judges of the European Court of Human Rights sit in the courtroom during a hearing at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
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There is much to be skeptical of in Burma’s plan for nationwide elections in October. But today one small, yet important, first step toward making Burma a genuine rights-respecting democracy took place. As part of a national process to update voter lists…
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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
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The U.N. Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution on “traditional values of humankind” as a vehicle for “promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.” It sounds innocuous, but its implications are ominous. Indeed, it is an immediate threat to…
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Making a difference in Malawi, Albania, Lithuania and Uganda

Human Rights Watch protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who are subject to discrimination and violence—and sometimes even torture or execution—because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We advocate for the principles…
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Ban on Information About Sexual Orientation Would Endanger Youth

(New York) - Lithuania's parliament (the Seimas) should eliminate all discriminatory and repressive language in a new law designed to censor information available to children, Human Rights Watch said yesterday in a letter to a key lawmaker. It called on…
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Ban on Information About Sexual Orientation Would Endanger Youth

(New York) - The Lithuanian parliament should not revive a proposed law that had been vetoed by the president, to ban references to gay, lesbian, and bisexual relations in public places, Human Rights Watch said in a letter released today to the speaker of…
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Dear Mr Valinskas, On June 26, 2009 the President of Lithuania vetoed the ‘Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information.' On July 7, 2009 the Seimas voted to reconsider the law and will sit in a plenary session on…
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Ban on Information About Sexual Orientation Would Endanger Youth

(New York) - President Valdas Adamkus should veto a proposed law passed by Lithuania's parliament that would ban references to gay, lesbian, and bisexual relations in public places, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the president. The "Law on…
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His Excellency Valdas Adamkus President of the Republic of Lithuania Simono Daukanto a.3 LT 01021 Vilnius Lithuania Dear Mr. President, On behalf of Human Rights Watch, I urge you to exercise your authority to veto the ‘Law on the Protection of…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…