How Michigan’s Forced Parental Consent for Abortion Law Hurts Young People

The 36-page report, “In Harm’s Way: How Michigan’s Forced Parental Consent for Abortion Law Hurts Young People” examines the impact of a Michigan law that requires people under age 18 seeking an abortion to have a parent or legal guardian’s written consent or get approval from a judge in a process known as “judicial bypass.”

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  • March 3, 2024

    The Impact of Unregistered Marriages on Women’s and Children’s Rights in Iraq

    The 40-page report, “‘My Marriage was Mistake after Mistake’: The Impact of Unregistered Marriages on Women’s and Children’s Rights in Iraq,” documents the impacts of unregistered marriages on women and girls who enter them, and the downstream effects on their children. The unregistered marriages function as a loophole around legal restrictions on child marriage and have disastrous effects on women and girls’ ability to get government services and social services linked to their civil status, obtain birth certificates for their children, or claim their rights to dowry, spousal maintenance, and inheritance.

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  • February 13, 2024

    Pregnant Girls’ and Adolescent Mothers’ Struggles to Stay in School in Mozambique

    The 52-page report, “‘Girls Shouldn’t Give Up On Their Studies’: Pregnant Girls’ and Adolescent Mothers’ Struggle to Stay in School in Mozambique,” documents numerous barriers faced by adolescent girls and women who are pregnant or parenting, and the problems they face when trying to stay in school. Students also lack or are denied access to sexual and reproductive health information, especially comprehensive sexuality education, as well as adolescent-responsive sexual and reproductive health services, including a wide range of contraceptive options and safe, legal abortion to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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  • December 14, 2023

    Domestic Violence Against and Neglect of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

    The 63-page report, “‘Abused by Relatives, Ignored by the State’: Domestic Violence against and Neglect of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Kyrgyzstan,” documents how violence by family members or partners often goes unreported and unaddressed due to widespread discrimination against people with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan, especially women and girls. Families often perceive their existence as shameful and hide them from society. Law enforcement and judicial bodies often ignore or downplay reported cases, and a shortage of shelters and other services for survivors of domestic violence who have disabilities makes it harder for them to escape abuse.

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  • December 6, 2023

    The Taliban’s Impact on Boys’ Education in Afghanistan

    The 19-page report, “‘Schools are Failing Boys Too’: The Taliban’s Impact on Boys’ Education in Afghanistan,” documents Taliban policies and practices since they took over the country in August 2021 that are jeopardizing education for Afghan boys. This includes the dismissal of female teachers, increased use of corporal punishment, and regressive changes to the curriculum. While the Taliban’s bans on secondary and higher education for girls and women have grabbed global headlines, the serious harm done to the education system for boys has gained less notice.
  • November 14, 2023

    Abuse of Imprisoned Women in Japan

    The 76-page report, “‘They Don’t Treat Us like Human Beings’: Abuse of Imprisoned Women in Japan,” documents the abusive conditions in many women’s prisons in Japan. Government policies towards women in prison violate international human rights conventions and contravene international standards such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules of the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the Mandela Rules. Prison authorities use restraints on imprisoned pregnant women, arbitrarily employ solitary confinement as a form of punishment, verbally abuse women in prison, deny incarcerated women’s opportunities to parent their child in prison, and fail to provide adequate access to health and mental health care.

  • July 18, 2023

    How Male Guardianship Policies Restrict Women’s Travel and Mobility in the Middle East and North Africa

    The 119-page report, “Trapped: How Male Guardianship Policies Restrict Women’s Travel and Mobility in the Middle East and North Africa,” says that although women’s rights activists have succeeded in securing women’s increased freedom in many countries in the region, old and new restrictions require women to seek permission from their male guardian – typically their father, brother, or husband – to move within their country, obtain a passport, or travel abroad. Human Rights Watch also found that in a number of countries, women cannot travel abroad with their children on an equal basis with men.

  • February 14, 2023

    Violence Against Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women and Non-Binary People

    The 211-page report, “This Is Why We Became Activists: Violence Against Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women and Non-binary People,” is a groundbreaking investigation into violence and discrimination in 26 countries. Human Rights Watch looked beyond the criminalization of same-sex conduct to analyze how sexist, patriarchal legal regimes such as male guardianship, unequal inheritance laws, and discrimination against single women violate LBQ+ people’s rights and leave them at a significant disadvantage in virtually very aspect of their lives. In addition to physical and sexual violence from family members, security forces, and others, LBQ+ people face discrimination at work, in land and property rights, fertility services, migration and resettlement, and unequal access to justice.

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  • February 9, 2023

    How Florida Judges Obstruct Young People’s Ability to Obtain Abortion Care

    The 39-page report, “Access Denied: How Florida Judges Obstruct Young People’s Ability to Obtain Abortion Care,” documents how in Florida many judges deny young people’s petitions, forcing them to continue a pregnancy against their wishes, travel outside the state, or seek a way to manage abortion outside the health system. Judges have the power to make highly subjective determinations about a young person’s maturity and interests. Vague criteria in state law enable highly arbitrary decision-making, with judges making decisions based on factors such as the young person’s grades and impressions of their demeanor during a nerve-wracking hearing.

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  • December 8, 2022

    Addressing Domestic Violence in Tunisia

    The 94-page report, “So What If He Hit You?: Addressing Domestic Violence in Tunisia,” found that despite the commitment of some officials and one of the strongest laws against domestic violence in the Middle East and North Africa, poor implementation of the law leaves women at risk of violence. The authorities fail to systematically respond, investigate, and provide protection to women who report violence, and a lack of funding for support services, such as shelter, has left many survivors with nowhere to escape.

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  • May 26, 2022

    The Deadly Impact of Failure to Protect

    The 86-page report, “Combatting Domestic Violence in Turkey: The Deadly Impact of Failure to Protect,” found failure to enforce court orders leaves women open to continuing abuse from current or former husbands and partners. In some cases, women have been killed despite having obtained restraining orders intended to protect them. The research took place against the backdrop of Turkey’s July 2021 withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention.

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  • January 20, 2022

    Ending Preventable Deaths from Cervical Cancer in Rural Georgia

    The 82-page report, “‘We Need Access’: Ending Preventable Deaths from Cervical Cancer in Rural Georgia” documents how state and federal policies neglect the reproductive healthcare needs of rural Black women. Cervical cancer is highly preventable and treatable. In 2020, 194 countries committed to ending cervical cancer globally, the first such commitment made for a cancer. While cervical cancer mortality rates have declined in Georgia over recent decades, they are still high and racial disparities persist.

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  • November 9, 2021

    Access to Services for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

    The 89-page report, “‘I Always Remember That Day’: Access to Services for Gender-Based Violence Survivors in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region,” documents the serious health impact, trauma, and stigma experienced by rape survivors ages 6 to 80 since the beginning of the armed conflict in Tigray in November 2020. Human Rights Watch highlighted the human cost of the Ethiopian government’s effective siege of the region, which has prevented an adequate and sustained response to survivors’ needs and the rehabilitation of the region’s shattered healthcare system.

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  • September 21, 2021

    Violence Against Women and Girls During the Covid-19 Pandemic in Kenya

    The 61-page report, “‘I Had Nowhere to Go’: Violence against Women and Girls during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Kenya,” documents how the Kenyan government’s failure to ensure services to prevent gender-based violence and provide assistance to survivors under its Covid-19 response measures facilitated an increase in sexual and other violence against women and girls. Survivors faced increased harm due to Kenyan authorities’ failure to ensure that they have access to comprehensive, quality, and timely medical treatment; mental health care and protection services; financial assistance; and to properly investigate and prosecute cases.

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  • August 5, 2021

    Implementing Afghanistan’s Elimination of Violence against Women Law

    The 32-page report, ‘I Thought Our Life Might Get Better’: Implementing Afghanistan’s Elimination of Violence against Women Law,” focuses on the experiences of Afghan women in their attempts to pursue justice against family members and others responsible for violence. Human Rights Watch found that limited enforcement of the landmark Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law has left many women and girls with no path to key protections and justice. With the Taliban making sweeping territorial gains, the prospect of a Taliban-dominated government also threatens constitutional and international law protections for Afghan women’s fundamental rights.

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