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‘They will kill us all,” “Ahmad,” a Syrian aid worker, told me last month, referring to the many armed parties to the Syrian conflict. We were talking about Idlib, a province in northwest Syria that is home to around 2…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
News

Calls for Safe Zones Raise Concerns

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today released a question-and-answer document on “safe zones” and the armed conflict in Syria. A number of leaders and governments have suggested that creating safe zones in Syria near the Turkish or other borders could…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
Report
Introduction Unprecedented numbers of people are taking dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean to reach countries of the European Union. Migrants and asylum seekers have been crossing the Mediterranean for decades. The numbers have…
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(Milan) - The European Union (EU) should act immediately to prevent further deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said. As many as 700 migrants and asylum seekers are feared dead in a single shipwreck in the Mediterranean north of Libya on April 19, 2015,…
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Officials from Serbia and Kosovo met in Brussels last week for a second round of negotiations aimed at establishing a formal relationship. Because of the potential for the talks to be politically fraught, negotiators have agreed to limit themselves to…
News

People with disabilities, minorities, remain exposed to grave abuses

For many in Europe, the western Balkans still evoke images of the brutal conflicts that followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The legacy of those wars continues to shape European Union and US policy toward the region. Repairing the damage…
News

Protecting the health of vulnerable, displaced people

This fall, the European Commission (EC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) began closing down lead-contaminated camps in Kosovo, where displaced Roma were living in abysmal health conditions for a decade. Human Rights Watch…
News
With Brussels increasingly the most influential actor in Kosovo, the European Commission annual progress report is a key benchmark for its performance on human rights. The latest report, published yesterday, rightly highlights the ongoing weakness of…
News

Western Europe Should Halt Deportations and Assist Roma Forced Back to Kosovo

(Pristina) - Roma and related minority groups deported from Western Europe to Kosovo face discrimination and severe deprivation amounting to human rights abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 77-page report, "Rights Displaced:…
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When Kosovo declared independence in February 2008, there was optimism that after almost a decade of drift, greater self-government and a newly energized international presence led by the EU might finally move it in the right direction.  Two years on,…
News

Crisis Conditions for Roma Stuck in Lead-Tainted Site for a Decade

(Brussels) - The Kosovo authorities need to work with international donors  to close lead-contaminated camps occupied by internally displaced Roma without delay, relocate their inhabitants, and provide medical treatment for lead poisoning, Human Rights…
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  1. What's going on in South Ossetia?  2. What's the background to the latest round of fighting?  3. Is this an internal or international armed conflict? What law governs it?  4. What is a lawful target under international humanitarian law?  5. What…
News

EU Should Press Zagreb to Take Stronger Action on Security, Housing, Employment

Serb refugees returning to Croatia face significant obstacles to the full enjoyment of their human rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Croatia is a candidate for European Union membership, and respect for minority rights is a…
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel should use her January 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin to signal a shift in Germany’s Russia policy that puts more emphasis on international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. “…
News

European Court of Human Rights Should Reconsider Tenancy Rights Case

The European Court of Human Rights should reconsider a landmark case on housing rights in Croatia, Human Rights Watch said today. The case concerns the wartime termination of the right to occupy socially-owned property (so-called “tenancy rights”)—a…
News
Khodorkovsky’s trial occurs at a time when the Russian authorities—guided by President Putin’s seemingly benign concept of “managed democracy”—are exhibiting extraordinary determination to reestablish control over numerous spheres of public life—business…
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European Union leaders should use Friday’s summit with Russia to raise concerns about the country’s deteriorating human rights record and secure concrete commitments for improvements, Human Rights Watch said today. As the European Union prepares for its…
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