• Commentary
    May 1, 2015
  • Commentary
    May 1, 2015
  • Dispatches
    Apr 27, 2015
  • Commentary
    Apr 26, 2015
    I recently met “Noor,” a 16-year-old Yezidi girl who had escaped from ISIS six months earlier. The extremist group abducted her from her hometown in Iraq in August and locked her in a house with young women and girls who were being forcibly married off or sold to ISIS fighters.
  • Letter
    Apr 22, 2015
    We write today to thank you for meeting with a Human Rights Watch delegation last month to discuss our concerns regarding some key provisions of the Organic Integral Criminal Code (Código Orgánico Integral Penal). We would like to follow up on that discussion to share our concerns regarding the criminalization of abortion, and respectfully urge you to spearhead a reform process to ensure that Ecuador complies with its international human rights obligations.
  • Press release
    Apr 22, 2015
    Ecuador’s National Assembly should decriminalize abortion in line with recommendations made by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the president of the assembly’s Justice Commission. In February 2015, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women urged Ecuador to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, and severe fetal impairment.
  • Dispatches
    Apr 20, 2015
  • Press release
    Apr 17, 2015
    A new Malawi law that sets 18 as the minimum age for marriage is an important step toward preventing child marriage. The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act (Marriage Act) of 2015 became law following the president’s assent. Malawi’s child marriage rates are among the highest in the world, with one out of two girls married before they turn 18.
  • Commentary
    Apr 15, 2015
    Last August, the world watched in horror as the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, attacked Iraq’s Yezidi community. Thousands fled without food or water into the nearby Sinjar mountains, but ISIS fighters waylaid many, executing men and abducting thousands of people, mainly women and children. Rumors of forced marriage and enslavement of Yezidi girls and women swirled, and were later confirmed as a trickle of women and girls – number into the hundreds – escaped. Human Rights Watch researchers Samer Muscati and Rothna Begum interviewed 20 of these women and girls and shared their findings with Amy Braunschweiger.
  • Press release
    Apr 14, 2015
    The extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch conducted research in the town of Dohuk in January and February 2015, including interviewing 20 women and girls who escaped from ISIS, and reviewing ISIS statements about the subject.
  • Commentary
    Apr 14, 2015
    The nightmare of 12-year-old “Jalila” began when Islamic State fighters abducted her, along with her family, in northern Iraq. They separated her from her family and imprisoned her in a house in north-eastern Syria with other abducted Yezidi women and girls. Then the jihadist fighters came, one after another, to inspect them. One singled Jalila out, took her home, and proceeded to rape her for three days. Six other Islamic State fighters eventually took possession of Jalila during her captivity, she told me recently—three of them raped her.
  • Press release
    Apr 14, 2015
    The United Nations Security Council should act to prevent and address sexual violence in armed conflict, including promoting greater participation of women in peacebuilding efforts, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 13, 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made public a report on conflict-related sexual violence in 19 countries during 2014 that described challenges due to poor monitoring, limited support services, and lack of accountability.
  • Letter
    Apr 10, 2015
    The undersigned individuals and organisations write to express our deep concern about the arbitrary detention of Wu Rongrong, Zheng Churan, Wei Tingting, Wang Man and Li Tingting and to urge the Ministry of Public Security to immediately and unconditionally release them and drop all charges.
  • Dispatches
    Apr 1, 2015
  • Dispatches
    Mar 31, 2015
  • Dispatches
    Mar 26, 2015
  • Dispatches
    Mar 24, 2015
  • Dispatches
    Mar 23, 2015
  • Press release
    Mar 20, 2015
    The Afghan government should investigate the failure of police in Kabul to prevent a mob from beating to death a woman with a reported psychosocial disability.
  • Dispatches
    Mar 20, 2015
  • Letter
    Mar 19, 2015
    We are writing in response to the public statement issued by the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia regarding the Human Rights Watch report, “‘Work Faster or Get Out’: Labor Rights Abuses in Cambodia’s Garment Industry.
  • Dispatches
    Mar 19, 2015
  • Press release
    Mar 18, 2015
    Cambodia’s government should improve enforcement of its labor law to remedy rights violations in the garment industry, said Human Rights Watch in a March 17, 2015 letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The government should improve coordination between different ministries to ensure that all garment factories are registered and regularly monitored by labor inspectors.
  • Press release
    Mar 18, 2015
    Spain’s ruling Popular Party should withdraw a bill that would force 16 and 17-year-old girls to obtain the consent of their parents to terminate a pregnancy, 22 national and international rights groups said today in letters to the head of the party’s group of legislators in Congress and to UN bodies. The bill is under examination in Congress.
  • Letter
    Mar 18, 2015
    We, the undersigned organizations are writing to urge your mandates to address an appeal to the Spanish government regarding the draft legislation “To increase protection for minors and women with reduced legal capacity in the termination of pregnancies” (Proposición de Ley Orgánica para reforzar la protección de las menores y mujeres con capacidad modificada judicialmente en la interrupción del embarazo). The draft legislation represents a serious threat to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and would create unjustified barriers to accessing safe, legal abortions for 16- and 17-year-olds.
  • Letter
    Mar 18, 2015
    We, the undersigned organizations are writing to urge your mandates to address an appeal to the Spanish government regarding the draft legislation “To increase protection for minors and women with reduced legal capacity in the termination of pregnancies” (Proposición de Ley Orgánica para reforzar la protección de las menores y mujeres con capacidad modificada judicialmente en la interrupción del embarazo). The draft legislation represents a serious threat to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and would create unjustified barriers to accessing safe, legal abortions for 16- and 17-year-olds.
  • Letter
    Mar 18, 2015
    We, the undersigned organisations, are writing to express our deep concern over the draft legislation “To increase protection for minors and women with reduced legal capacity in the termination of pregnancies” (Proposición de Ley Orgánica para reforzar la protección de las menores y mujeres con capacidad modificada judicialmente en la interrupción del embarazo). The draft legislation represents a serious threat to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and would create unjustified barriers to accessing safe, legal abortions for 16- and 17-year-olds. We therefore respectfully request the withdrawal of the draft legislation proposed by the PP Parliamentary Group.
  • Letter
    Mar 17, 2015
  • Commentary
    Mar 16, 2015
    All couples hope their marriages will work out and they will live happily ever after. But the truth is that many relationships end in divorce and Lebanese couples are no exception. According to a 2012 study by the Lebanese Central Administration of Statistics, there were almost 6,000 divorces in 2010. The issue for these couples and for society at large is how to ensure a fair separation that guarantees the rights of each spouse and protects their children.
  • Commentary
    Mar 16, 2015
    This week, British MPs face a simple choice. They must decide if it is right that a woman who flees abuse should become an undocumented migrant just because she runs away.
  • Dispatches
    Mar 12, 2015
  • Commentary
    Mar 11, 2015
    On 3 March, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, 'We must use the celebration of International Women's Day to highlight the plight of women still fighting for freedom and equality, for when that is achieved it will be for the betterment of us all.'
  • Press release
    Mar 11, 2015
    The Cambodian government is failing to protect garment workers who are producing for international apparel brands from serious labor rights abuses. The predominantly women workers often experience forced overtime, pregnancy-based discrimination, and anti-union practices that neither the government nor major brands have adequately addressed.
  • Dispatches
    Mar 10, 2015
  • Dispatches
    Mar 9, 2015
  • Commentary
    Mar 8, 2015
    Like many other countries, the United Arab Emirates will mark International Women’s Day on March 8, when we may hear more words from UAE leaders celebrating the role of women. Important as it is, this year, instead of fulsome praise, what women in the UAE really need is for their government to act to end discrimination they face in law and in practice.
  • Commentary
    Mar 7, 2015
    The EU can lead by example if it begins the process of ratifying the Istanbul Convention, the ground-breaking Council of Europe treaty to end violence against women. The opportunity for the EU to ratify human rights treaties as an entity has been fairly limited until now, but the Istanbul Convention explicitly provides that option.
  • Dispatches
    Mar 6, 2015
  • Press release
    Mar 5, 2015
    (New York) – All governments should ensure that women and girls with disabilities are included in gender-based violence prevention and response programs, Human Rights Watch said today. Ahead of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2015, Human Rights Watch has published a resource on gender-based violence designed for people with disabilities.
  • Impact
    Mar 4, 2015
    Indonesia said it will stop administering “virginity tests” to female aspiring civil servants as part of its admission process. The country’s Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo announced this change—which will affect women working in government offices—on the heels of Human Rights Watch research that documented this degrading practice in the admission process for another branch of the Indonesian government, the National Police force.
  • Press release
    Mar 1, 2015
    Afghanistan’s new government should commit to including women on the negotiating team for any future peace talks with the Taliban, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Dispatches
    Feb 25, 2015
  • Press release
    Feb 23, 2015
    The House of Lords should amend the Modern Slavery Bill to restore the right for migrant domestic workers to change employers, Human Rights Watch and the United Kingdom charity Kalayaan said today. The bill is being considered in the House of Lords, the UK’s upper chamber of parliament, during the week of February 23, 2015.
  • Dispatches
    Feb 17, 2015
  • Written statement
    Feb 17, 2015
    We write in advance of the 62nd Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its review of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This submission addresses articles 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16 of the Convention.
  • Commentary
    Feb 17, 2015
  • Press release
    Feb 11, 2015
  • Written statement
    Feb 10, 2015
    We write in advance of the 62th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its review of the Republic of Yemen’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This submission addresses articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16 of the convention.
  • Dispatches
    Feb 9, 2015
  • Dispatches
    Feb 6, 2015
  • Dispatches
    Feb 6, 2015
  • Written statement
    Feb 1, 2015
    We write in advance of the 62nd Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its review of Lebanon’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This submission addresses articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16 of the Convention.
  • Press release
    Jan 29, 2015
    The UAE authorities in 2014 aggressively restricted the rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly, cracking down on dissidents and anyone considered a threat to national security, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. The authorities also failed to investigate credible allegations that security forces arbitrarily detained and tortured dissidents.
  • Press release
    Jan 29, 2015
    New police data developed during 2014 show that more than 1,100 indigenous women and girls have disappeared or been murdered in Canada since 1980, double an earlier estimate. The Canadian government has resisted calls for a national inquiry into the violence, and instead has opted for half-measures that do little to address the structural problems underlying the violence.
  • Dispatches
    Jan 26, 2015
  • Written statement
    Jan 20, 2015
    We write in advance of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women’s upcoming review of Ecuador to highlight areas of concern regarding the Ecuadoran government’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This submission is based on the Human Rights Watch report on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Ecuador published in 2013, “Rape Victims as Criminals: Illegal Abortion After Rape in Ecuador” (Annex 1) and is focused on violations of the right to health, which are inconsistent with Article 12 of the Convention.
  • Press release
    Jan 19, 2015
    Lebanon’s religion-based personal status laws discriminate against women across the religious spectrum and don’t guarantee their basic rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Lebanon has 15 separate personal status laws for its recognized religions but no civil code covering issues such as divorce, property rights, or care of children. These laws are administered by autonomous religious courts with little or no government oversight, and often issue rulings that violate women’s human rights.
  • Commentary
    Jan 19, 2015
  • Written statement
    Jan 16, 2015
    We write in advance of the 60th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its review of Kyrgyzstan to highlight areas of concern regarding the government of Kyrgyzstan’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This submission addresses Articles 2, 3, and 5 of the Convention, with reference to Article 15.
  • Commentary
    Jan 13, 2015
    If the Canadian government has chosen to ignore demonstrated violence against indigenous women and girls, it has registered loud and clear on the global human rights agenda.
  • Letter
    Jan 12, 2015
    Human Rights Watch is writing in response to your announcement that the City of New Orleans would be forming an internal task force to review mishandled rape cases. We urge you to go further. Specifically, we ask that the task force become a permanent mechanism to ensure that investigations are being conducted properly, and that best practices continue to be implemented long after the media coverage has ceased, or, in the alternative, support a city ordinance that codifies best practices that have been proven to work in other cities. At a minimum, we ask that police no longer be allowed to monitor themselves.
  • UPR
    Jan 11, 2015
    There have been some encouraging reforms in Kuwait since its last UPR in 2010. For example, in January 2013 a judicial decision granted women the right to apply for posts as prosecutors, allowing them to therefore enter the career path to become judges eventually. However Kuwait has yet to reform any of the provisions in its personal status laws that discriminate against women.