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(Jakarta, June 3, 2021) – The harm a palm oil plantation in western Kalimantan, Indonesia, is causing to the surrounding communities and the environment demonstrates the government’s failure to enforce its own policies and laws, Human Rights Watch said in…
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Summary Over the past two decades, women and girls in Indonesia have faced unprecedented legal and social demands to wear clothing deemed Islamic as part of broader efforts to impose the rules of Sharia, or Islamic law, in many parts of the country.…
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(Jakarta, March 18, 2021) – Dress codes for women and girls in Indonesia discriminate against students, civil servants, and visitors to government offices and should be revoked, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should…
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‘Magnificent 7’ Urge Schools to Follow New Ruling Making Jilbab Voluntary

This week I moderated a discussion with seven courageous Indonesian women – a teacher, a lawyer, an ombudswoman, two psychologists, and two activists. They were holding a news conference to support a new government decree that allows schoolgirls and…
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As Students Await Their Appeal, One Charged with Treason

(Jakarta) – Indonesia’s public Khairun University on Ternate Island should reinstate four students who were expelled after taking part in a peaceful protest, Human Rights Watch said today. A civil lawsuit brought by the four students, challenging…
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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
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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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…
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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.
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Zulfa Nur Rohman, a student at a vocational public school in Semarang, Central Java, failed the 11th grade because of his religious faith. School administrators informed Zulfa, an adherent of a Javanese traditional faith Hayu Ningrat, that he cannot…
A sign on an Ahmadiyah mosque in South Jakarta, Indonesia reads, "This building is sealed due to inappropriate usage." The mosque was closed by government authorities in July 2015.
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(November 17, 2015) More than 800,000 asylum seekers and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea in 2015, with most traveling onward to northern and western EU countries. According to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, 84 percent were from Syria,…
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Denial of Rights in Burma, Bangladesh Lead to Trafficking and Dangerous Sea Voyages

(Bangkok) – Rohingya and other survivors of dangerous boat voyages from Burma and Bangladesh describe horrific treatment by unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers in Burma, and abuse and neglect aboard ships, Human Rights Watch said today. A regional…
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When Abid was five, immigration officials arrested him and his family, Pakistani refugees fleeing religious persecution. The officials took them to the squalid immigration detention centre in central Bangkok. There, they joined hundreds of other refugees…
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Oped on cnn.com

This week kicks off one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Millions will set out for Thanksgiving, a holiday that celebrates how refugees from religious persecution found freedom in a new land. I’ll be one of those traveling. And while I’m looking…
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To Permanent Representatives of Member States of the UN Human Rights Council, and Observer States of Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Togo

Your Excellency, We are writing to you to ask your delegation to urgently consider calling for a Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights of migrants at sea. The devastating event in Lampedusa speaks for itself, and warrants a…
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Over more than ten years of research in Europe and beyond, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented serious violations of children’s rights arising from immigration detention of children.[i] Children may be arbitrarily detained, held in cells with…
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“My children asked and asked, ‘When can we go outside?’ but we could not answer,” Safia A., an Afghan refugee, told me. “We are responsible parents, but we have no answers for them.” Safia was speaking of the year when the Indonesian government detained…
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Detained, Beaten in Squalid Facilities, or Left to Fend for Themselves

(Jakarta) – Indonesia detains and neglects migrant and asylum-seeking children, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Each year, hundreds are detained in sordid conditions, without access to lawyers, and sometimes beaten. Others are…