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When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose…
LGBT activists in Beirut, Lebanon shout slogans and hold up a rainbow flag as they march to demand equal rights in a country gripped by economic and financial crisis, June 27, 2020.
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Israeli High Court Green Lights Razing of Khan al-Ahmar

Residents of Khan al-Ahmar thought they had found a way around Israel’s discriminatory  building permit regime in Area C of the West Bank. Since a building permit is required only for concrete structures, they built their school, which…
201809middleeast_israel_palestine_khan_school
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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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Could Amount to War Crimes

(New York) – Israel has repeatedly denied Palestinians permits to build schools in the West Bank and demolished schools built without permits, making it more difficult or impossible for thousands of children to get an education. On…
Palestinian Bedouin school children walk towards their tents on September 15, 2010 at their Bedouin camp outside the Israeli West Bank settlement of Ma'ale Adumin. Israel does not recognize the Bedouins’ property claims and has demolished homes and school
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Videos, Report Highlight Issues of Identity, Activism

(Beirut, April 16, 2018) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa are defying state-sponsored repression and social stigma, Human Rights Watch and the…
No Longer Alone
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Research Shows Children Fare Equally Well

This week, the Israeli government opposed a petition submitted by the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers requesting that common-law and same-sex couples be allowed to adopt. The government said that it opposed changing the law because…
Participants take part in the annual Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem July 21, 2016.
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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.  Trump…
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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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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Israel is allegedly pressuring United Nations officials in Jerusalem to keep the Israel Defense Forces off the UN secretary-general’s “list of shame” of armed groups that commit grave violations of children’s rights during armed conflict, the Guardian…
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If Kosovo is serious about its European future, whoever forms the next government faces a big job to improve its justice system and human rights record. Kosovo took another step toward this European future on June 8, with its second general election since…
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Violates Freedom of Assembly, Expression

(Berlin) – Serbia’s ban on the Belgrade Pride Parade, scheduled for October 6, 2012, violates the country’s international legal obligations and should be immediately repealed. On October 3, the Interior Ministry announced that based on an assessment of…
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President Should Speak Out against Hate Campaign

(New York) - Serbia's government should quickly take visible steps to end a spate of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Human Rights Watch said in a letter sent November 16, 2009, to President Boris Tadic. Human…
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The President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Boris Tadic People's Office of the President Masarikova 5/VI 11000 Belgrade Serbia Via Fax +381 11 3620 676 Dear Mr. President, I write to you to express concern that persistent homophobia in Serbian…
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Blockade Deprives Students of Paper, Pens, Textbooks

(Jerusalem) - Israeli authorities should immediately lift restrictions that have left students in Gaza's public schools without textbooks and the most basic school supplies, such as notebooks and pens, Human Rights Watch said today. Israel severely limits…
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Restoring Bill to Legislative Agenda Will Guarantee Rights

(Brussels) - Serbia's government should ensure that an anti-discrimination law is passed, rebuffing efforts to delay its progress, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the vice-prime minister for European integration, Bozidar Delic. The government…
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The Vice Prime Minister for European Integration Mr. Bozidar Delic Republic of Serbia Dear Vice Prime-Minister Delic, I write you on behalf of Human Rights Watch. An international nongovernmental organization based in New York with offices around the…
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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…