Human Rights Violations in Sex Testing of Elite Women Athletes

The 120-page report, “‘“They’re Chasing Us Away from Sport’”: Human Rights Violations in Sex Testing of Elite Women Athletes,” documents the experiences of more than a dozen women athletes from the Global South who have been affected by sex testing regulations. Human Rights watch found that global regulations that encourage discrimination, surveillance, and coerced medical intervention on women athletes result in physical and psychological injury and economic hardship. The International Olympic Committee – the supreme body in global sports – is developing guidelines to address human rights violations caused by sex testing policies.

A woman holds a photo of a group of female runners competing


  • July 8, 2020

    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.

    video content
  • November 29, 2018

    Alabama’s Failure to Prevent Cervical Cancer Death in the Black Belt

    This report documents how state and federal policies contribute to a treacherous reproductive health environment in Alabama, where women are dying from cervical cancer at rates higher than in any other US state. The report presents the experiences of women mostly from the Alabama Black Belt, a largely rural region of Alabama that is primarily African American and has high rates of poverty and poor physical health. Human Rights Watch found that governments are not doing enough to facilitate access to reproductive health care services and provide information to prevent these deaths.

    map content
  • October 29, 2014

    Child Marriage and Human Rights Abuses in Tanzania

    This 75-page report documents how child marriage severely curtails girls’ access to education, and exposes them to exploitation and violence – including marital rape and female genital mutilation (FGM) – and reproductive health risks.

  • February 13, 2014

    A Five-Point Plan to Curtail Sexual Violence in Somalia

    This 72-page report provides a roadmap for the government and its international donors to establish a comprehensive strategy to reduce rape, provide survivors with immediate and urgent assistance, and develop a long-term approach to end these abuses.

  • August 8, 2011

    Accountability for Maternal Health Care in South Africa

    This report documents maternity care failures that include abuse of maternity patients by health workers and substandard care in Eastern Cape Province, putting women and their newborns at high risk of death or injury. It examines shortcomings in the tools used by health authorities to identify and correct health system failures that contribute to poor maternal health.