Sexual Violence

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dec 9, 2014
  • Dec 3, 2014
    Human Rights Watch has significant expertise in investigating and analyzing aid delivery in Haiti, in particular, through a human rights framework. Within weeks of the January 12, 2010 earthquake, Human Rights Watch began monitoring the aid response in Haiti and human rights concerns that were emerging. In the months after the quake, Human Rights Watch raised particular concerns with the United Nations and other key actors about gaps in protection measures for women and girls in the camps and documented a few cases of sexual violence.
  • Nov 20, 2014

    Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch received a letter from a woman who explained she had been brutally gang raped by strangers in an abandoned lot in Tulsa in 1971, when she was 12 years old. Though she had been literally torn open by the assault, she wrote that “the trauma of the event was nothing compared to the trauma she received afterwards at the hands of police.”  The policewoman she spoke to the next day yelled at her, called her a “little slut” and blamed her for upsetting her mother. After 43 years, the survivor wrote, she hardly thinks about the rape, but the policewoman’s words “still echo in my ears from time to time, often when I least expect it. It brings me to tears.”

  • Oct 28, 2014
  • Oct 22, 2014
  • Oct 13, 2014
    Afghanistan’s new government should take urgent steps to combat sexual harassment of women in education, employment, and public life. There are no laws in Afghanistan that specifically prohibit sexual harassment or protect victims.
  • Sep 25, 2014
    In September 2014, Human Rights Watch released a report detailing sexual exploitation and abuse by soldiers from Burundi and Uganda deployed to Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The following are answers to questions raised by some of the actors addressed in the report.