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.
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.
The Human Rights Consequences of Parental Notice of Abortion in Illinois
The 73-page report, “‘The Only People It Really Affects Are the People It Hurts’: The Human Rights Impacts of Parental Notice of Abortion in Illinois,” is the product of a collaboration between Human Rights Watch and the ACLU of Illinois. The groups found that young people often seek judicial bypass because they fear physical or emotional abuse, being kicked out of the home, alienation from their families or other deterioration of family relationships, or being forced to continue a pregnancy against their will. The groups also documented the hardships faced by young people forced to involve unsupportive family members in their abortion decision or navigate an unfamiliar court system to obtain a judicial bypass, and the additional stress and delays in seeking care this caused.
The Human Cost of Barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Argentina
The 77-page report named “A Case for Legal Abortion: The Human Cost of Barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Argentina,” describes the consequences of the Senate’s rejection of a 2018 bill that would have fully decriminalized abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Human Rights Watch documented cases of women and girls who have, since then, encountered an array of barriers to access legal abortion and post-abortion care. The barriers include arbitrarily imposed gestational limits, lack of access to and availability of abortion methods, fear of criminal prosecution, stigmatization, and mistreatment by health professionals.
Young People, Sexual Health Education, and HPV in Alabama
The 65-page report, “‘It Wasn’t Really Safety, It Was Shame’: Young People, Sexual Health Education, and HPV in Alabama,” documents the Alabama state government’s failure to provide young people with comprehensive, inclusive, and accurate information on sexual and reproductive health. Human Rights Watch also found that the state is not addressing barriers to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine – an effective tool to prevent several types of cancer – and that vaccination rates throughout Alabama remain low.
US Medical Provider Discomfort with Intersex Care Practices
This report examines the controversy over the operations inside the medical community and the pressure on parents to opt for surgery. Once called “hermaphrodites”—a term now considered pejorative and outdated, intersex people are not rare, but their needs are widely misunderstood. Based on a medical theory popularized in the 1960s, doctors perform surgery on intersex children—often in infancy—with the stated aim of making it easier for them to grow up “normal.” The results are often catastrophic, the supposed benefits are largely unproven, and there are rarely urgent health considerations requiring immediate, irreversible intervention.
The Impact of the Zika Outbreak on Women and Girls in Northeastern Brazil
This report documents gaps in the Brazilian authorities’ response that have a harmful impact on women and girls and leave the general population vulnerable to continued outbreaks of serious mosquito-borne illnesses. The outbreak hit as the country faced its worst economic recession in decades, forcing authorities to make difficult decisions about allocating resources. But even in earlier times of economic growth, government investments in water and sanitation infrastructure were inadequate. Years of neglect contributed to the water and wastewater conditions that allowed the proliferation of the Aedes mosquito and the rapid spread of the virus, Human Rights Watch found.
State Response to Sex Workers, Drug Users and HIV in New Orleans
This 57-page report documents government violations of the right to health and other abuses of at-risk populations in New Orleans. It calls for changes in state and local laws and policies that stigmatize, discriminate against, and facilitate police abuse of sex workers and drug users, and interfere with health services for people at high risk for HIV.
Abuses against Internally Displaced in Mogadishu, Somalia
The 80-page report details serious violations, including physical attacks, restrictions on movement and access to food and shelter, and clan-based discrimination against the displaced in Mogadishu from the height of the famine in mid-2011 through 2012.
The 95-page report documents the consequences of child marriage, the near total lack of protection for victims who try to resist marriage or leave abusive marriages, and the many obstacles they face in accessing mechanisms of redress.
This 82-page report examines how current government responses are falling short, both in protecting children from sexual abuse and treating victims. Many children are effectively mistreated a second time by traumatic medical examinations and by police and other authorities who do not want to hear or believe their accounts.
Police Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases in the District of Columbia
This 196-page report concludes that in many sexual assault cases, the police did not file incident reports, which are required to proceed with an investigation, or misclassified serious sexual assaults as lesser or other crimes.
Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in Four US Cities
This 112-page report documented in each city how police and prosecutors use condoms to support prostitution charges. The practice makes sex workers and transgender women reluctant to carry condoms for fear of arrest, causes them to engage in sex without protection, and puts them at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The Vulnerability of Immigrant Farmworkers in the US to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
This 95-page report describes rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power. Most farmworkers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals.
This 54-page report documents the lifelong damage to girls who are forced to marry young. Yemeni girls and women told Human Rights Watch about being forced into child marriages by their families, and then having no control over whether and when to bear children and other important aspects of their lives.
Failure to Protect Women’s and Girls’ Right to Health and Security in Post-Earthquake Haiti
This documents the lack of access to reproductive and maternal care in post-earthquake Haiti, even with unprecedented availability of free healthcare services. The report also describes how hunger has led women to trade sex for food and how poor camp conditions exacerbate the impact of sexual violence because of difficulties accessing post-rape care.