Syrian-Russian alliance targets life in Idlib; ensuring fair access to Covid-19 vaccine; the pandemic's impact on girls education in Afghanistan; 10 steps for safe, credible elections in the US; mass convictions for homosexuality in Algeria; Indonesia's new law hurts workers and indigenous groups; and poverty and inequality are human rights issues.

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The Syrian and Russian armed forces’ repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure in Idlib (northwest Syria) were apparent war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity. Our new report examines the abusive military strategy in which the Syrian-Russian alliance repeatedly violated the laws of war against the 3 million civilians there. Here's how five HRW researchers exposed the abusive military strategy without visiting the site

Ensuring equitable access to a Covid-19 vaccine is not just a public health challenge, it’s a fundamental human rights concern. Without a more open approach to intellectual property, the vaccine and other products that could help us better respond to the pandemic, will likely remain out of reach for most of the world. 

Local, state, and federal officials in the United States should follow these 10 fundamental principles to promote safe and credible elections on November 3:

  1. Ensure that all eligible voters are able to exercise their right to vote by effectively communicating about voting procedures, making various voting options readily available and accessible, and adopting additional measures as needed.
  2. Ensure the right to vote without discrimination or discriminatory effects.
  3. Protect the right to health while voting and during election-related activities.
  4. Provide prompt review, appeal, and remedy for voting rights violations.
  5. Allow unfettered monitoring by impartial, non-partisan election observers.
  6. Keep the right to vote and the “will of the people” at the center of ballot counting.
  7. Prevent voter intimidation and violence by extremist and other groups before, during, and after the elections.
  8. Ensure access to accurate electoral information; act to prevent or mitigate rights abuses.
  9. Ensure the right of peaceful assembly.
  10. Minimize arrests and use of force in responding to protests.

Human Rights Watch has worked with UN Women and UNICEF to document the impact of Covid-19 on girls’ education in Afghanistan. The pandemic has harmed the education of children around the world, especially girls, and nowhere more so than Afghanistan.

In early September, an Algerian court sentenced 44 people for homosexuality. Algerian authorities’ attack on personal freedoms is nothing new, but arresting dozens of students based on their perceived sexual orientation is a flagrant infringement on their basic rights,

Indonesia’s government should revise a new jobs law which restricts labor rights and dismantles environmental protections, including by threatening Indigenous people’s access to land and the country’s declining rainforests.

And learn more about why poverty and inequality are human rights issues - and why this has become a core part of our work.

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