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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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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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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

Many Countries Call for Law to Keep Human Control

(Geneva) – Countries meeting in Geneva on November 13-24, 2017, missed a chance to move ahead to prevent the development of weapons systems that would select and engage targets without meaningful human control, Human Rights…
As the debate about “killer robots” continues, the threat they pose looms large.
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The European Union has provided significant funding to the Greek government, and to United Nations and nongovernmental agencies, to operate the centers on the Greek eastern Aegean islands, known as “hotspots,” and camps on the mainland. But asylum seekers…
News

Aiding People With Disabilities in Wartime Syria

Amidst the desolation of the Syrian civil war, there they were – 148 people, trapped for days inside a former home for older people named Dar Al-Safaa in Aleppo’s Old City. Most of them had disabilities, ranging from physical…
Aleppo wheelchair
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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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As world leaders gather for President Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on September 20, they should urgently address how to get the more than 3.5 million refugee children around the world who aren’t getting an education back in school.   All…
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Thousands More Eligible to Enroll, but Challenges Remain

(Amman) – Jordan’s education minister has instructed public schools to allow Syrian children to register in the fall semester even if they lack government-issued documents that were previously required, Human Rights Watch said today. Carrying out this and…
Syrian children attend class in a school in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, October 20, 2015. The school taught Syrian girls in the morning and boys in the afternoon, but lacked electricity, heating, and running water.
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Summary Today, Syrian refugee children in Jordan face a bleak educational present, and an uncertain future. Close to one in three—226,000 out of 660,000—Syrians registered with the United Nations refugee agency in Jordan are school-aged…
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Summary We left our country and our homes and now they don’t even have an education or a future. —Jawaher, North Lebanon, December 1, 2015 My children should learn to write their names. It…
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Residency Rules, Child Labor Among Barriers for Refugees

(Beirut) – More than half of the nearly 500,000 school-age Syrian children registered in Lebanon are not enrolled in formal education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Although Lebanon, which is hosting 1.1 million registered Syrian…
Bara’a, 10, originally from Ghouta, Syria, leaves for school from her informal refugee camp in Mount Lebanon.