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Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
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Human Rights Council Seat Demands Greater Leadership

(Sydney) – The Australian government should make the protection of human rights a central focus of its foreign policy, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the recently reappointed Foreign Minister Marise Payne that was released today. …
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Human Rights Council Panel commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Genocide Convention, I wish to address the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in realizing its ideals. This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the ICC’s…
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Interactive Dialogue with COI on Syria

Human Rights Watch thanks the Commission of Inquiry for highlighting the devastating and unlawful acts committed by parties on both sides of the conflict during the offensive on Eastern Ghouta between February and April 2018. Over the months leading up to…
A fighter from Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands next to debris of damaged buildings in Raqqa, Syria, September 25, 2017. © 2017 REUTERS
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Investigative Team Briefs UN General Assembly

Update: The International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism concluded a cooperation agreement with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria in March 2018. (New York) – UN member states should fully fund and cooperate with a…
Catherine Marchi-Uhel, head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), attends a news conference on Syria crimes at the United Nations in Geneva, September 5, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Urgent Debate on deteriorating situation of human rights in Eastern Ghouta at the Human Rights Council

We express the greatest concern for the situation in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, as it continues to deteriorate significantly. And we welcome this urgent debate. As UN Secretary General Guterres told the Human Rights Council at…
An elderly man walks near a damaged building in the besieged town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.
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Foreign ISIS Detainees Raise Due Process, Victim Participation Issues

(Beirut) – The capture of two British men suspected of involvement in the Islamic State’s (also known as ISIS) torture and execution of Western hostages highlights the need to provide trials for ISIS suspects that respect due process…
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces removes an Islamic State flag in the town of Tabqa, west of Raqqa city, Syria, April 30, 2017. © 2017 Getty Images
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On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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As members of the UN Security Council debate this week about whether to renew their Syria chemical weapons investigation, they might want to read Wilfred Owen’s World War One poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” It describes an attack in which a man…
A poison hazard danger sign is seen in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, Syria on April 5, 2017.
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Investigate Killings, Abductions of Foreign Men

  (Beirut) – Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,400 foreign women and their children who surrendered with ISIS fighters in late August 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The detentions appear to have no legal…
Iraqi Ministry of Transportation buses taking internally displaced families to Hammam al-Alil in May 2017. In late August, Iraqi authorities bused 1,400 foreign women and children to the site. © 2017 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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Item 4 Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria

Human Rights Watch supports the findings of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. An investigation by Human Rights Watch has established that the Syrian government forces have used nerve agents on…
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters on their way to Raqqa, Syria June 6, 2017© 2017 Reuters
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29th session of the Universal Periodic Review, January 2018

Summary Human Rights Watch’s key human rights concerns on Serbia are reflected in the 2017 World Report chapter on Serbia. Accountability for war crimes is hampered by slow progress on prosecutions. Concerns over freedom of the media continue…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.