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Russia Should Allow Full Year of UN-Led Aid Delivery from Turkey, Iraq

(New York) – Russia should not block the United Nations Security Council from reauthorizing and expanding cross-border humanitarian aid operations across northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. Millions of people in northeast and northwest…
UN humanitarian aid trucks enter northwest Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on June 1, 2021
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UN Should Reauthorize Crucial Help from Neighboring Countries

Millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, if Russia vetoes reauthorizing the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey into opposition-held northwest Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
UN humanitarian aid trucks enter northwest Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on June 1, 2021
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Millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, if Russia vetoes reauthorizing the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey into opposition-held northwest Syria, Human Rights Watch…
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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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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Bombing Exposes Dangers from Extremists, Corrupt Politicians

The attempted assassination on May 6, 2021, of Mohamed Nasheed, the former Maldivian president and current speaker of parliament, highlights the grave risks posed by extremist groups who enjoy political protection. Nasheed, who became the Maldives…
Maldivian police officers secure the area following a blast in Male, Maldives, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Maldives' first democratically elected president and current Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has been injured in a blast Thursday near his home and was being treated in a hospital in the capital, police said. (
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Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
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Repeal Remaining Repressive Laws, Investigate Attacks

After years of ignominy as one of the worst countries in Asia for media freedom, the Maldives has risen to 72nd place in the latest rankings of the World Press Freedom Index, up from 120th place three years ago. That improvement reflects how far the…
Relatives of disappeared Maldivian journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla hold a silent protest during International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, holding signs.
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Governments Should Bolster Respect for Landmark Arms Ban

Governments should reinforce the global ban on chemical weapons by suspending the rights and privileges of Syria, a party to the treaty that has violated it with impunity for years.  This week, states that are parties to the Chemical Weapons…
A civil defense member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.
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Joint Statement

We, the undersigned analysts, researchers, and other experts on the Syrian context, strongly condemn the Danish government’s decision to remove “temporary protection” for Syrian refugees from Damascus. This decision used our testimonies to the Danish…
Syrian refugees hold banners outside the Swedish Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, protesting Denmark's asylum policies towards those who fled Syria's civil war, September 26, 2012.
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Detained in Dire Conditions; Urgently Need Consular Support

(Berlin) – Regional authorities in northeast Syria are unlawfully detaining an estimated 40 Ukrainian women and children in inhuman and degrading conditions in camps, Human Rights Watch said today. They are among nearly 43,000 foreigners linked to the…
A boy flies a home-made kite in the foreigners’ section of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria on March 15, 2021.
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Set Principled Framework for Aid, Protection, Justice

(Brussels) – The European Union-United Nations sponsored aid conference for Syria on March 29-30, 2021, should prioritize a rights-respecting aid framework that advances urgent protection, humanitarian, and accountability needs, Human Rights Watch…
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Most Syrian Refugee Students Denied Access to Learning

(Brussels) – Governments should address the unprecedented education crisis facing Syrian refugee children in Lebanon at the March 30, 2021, ministerial conference in Brussels on Supporting Syria and the Region, Human Rights Watch said today. Donors…
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Countries should bring Citizens Home; Ensure Due Process for ISIS Suspects

Nearly 43,000 foreign men, women, and children linked to ISIS remain detained in inhuman or degrading conditions by regional authorities in northeast Syria, two years after they were rounded up during the fall of the Islamic State “caliphate,” often…
A boy flies a home-made kite in the foreigners’ section of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria on March 15, 2021.
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Bakeries Destroyed; Discriminatory Policies Exacerbate Wheat Shortage

(Beirut) – The Syrian government’s failure to fairly and adequately address a bread crisis brought on by a decade of armed conflict is forcing millions of Syrians to go hungry, Human Rights Watch said today. A deepening economic crisis, coupled…
Syrian authorities distribute food to residents in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria, April 16, 2018.
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All Countries Should Urgently Repatriate Citizens

On the surface, it seems like a happy ending: a 4-year-old Canadian girl is flown home to Canada on Sunday after living the first half of her life under the Islamic State (ISIS) and the second in a squalid detention camp in northeast Syria. But her…
A 4-year-old Canadian girl after her rescue from a detention camp
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International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
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Limited Community Outreach Blunts Impact of Accountability Efforts

A German court in the town of Koblenz this week will render its first verdict in a historic trial of two former Syrian officials for atrocities during Syria’s decade-long brutal armed conflict. The two accused in the case are an alleged former…
Photos of Syrians who have been detained or disappeared set up by Families for Freedom, as part of a protest in front of the court in Koblenz, July 2, 2020.