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Legal Uncertainty, Growing Concerns Show Urgent Need for Regulation

Governments should open negotiations to adopt new international law on lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as “killer robots.” Existing international law is not adequate to address the urgent threats posed by such weapons, which several…
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News

Anniversary Marks Ongoing Assault on Women’s Rights, Rule of Law

(Brussels) – Women, girls, and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since…
Women take part in a demonstration against the Polish abortion law, in Wroclaw, Poland, on March 17, 2021.
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Women’s Autonomy Should Be at Center of Abortion Regulation

(Washington, DC, September 14, 2021) – Mexico's Supreme Court has issued two rulings that set important precedents for reproductive justice not only for Mexico but for the Americas, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 7, 2021, the Supreme…
A woman holds up a banner that reads "My body, I decide" during a rally to celebrate the decision of the Mexican Supreme Court that found the total criminalization of abortion to be unconstitutional, in Saltillo, Mexico September 7, 2021.
News

Shared Vision Forms Sound Basis for Creating a New Ban Treaty

Governments should move urgently to begin negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit and restrict autonomous weapons systems, known as “killer robots.” A small number of powerful countries that are developing autonomous weapons have been holding up…
A graphic piece by Brian Stauffer depicting an outstretched hand catching a rocket in its palm while shielding a mother and a young boy beneath it.
News

Greatest Harm for Indigenous, Afro-Descendent People Living in Poverty

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s laws criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer Again?’…
Feminist activists and pro-choice groups witness a debate at Ecuador’s National Assembly on Criminal Code reform, in which there was a possibility that legislators would approve the decriminalization of abortion in cases involving rape, in Quito, Ecuador, on January 3, 2019.
News

Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
News

Lack of Transparency, Corruption Allegations Mar Covid-19 Spending

(Nairobi) – The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board should ensure that a three-year loan sought by Cameroon is used to meet its human rights obligations and not lost to corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. It should require the…
CDC Cameroon Associate Director for Program and Science, Dr. Clement Ndongmo, observes Covid-19 testing procedures for passengers arriving at Nsimalen International Airport in Yaoundé. 
News

Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
News

Lawmakers Should Enact Proposed Criminal Code Reform

(Washington, DC) – The Congress of the Dominican Republic should adopt a proposal to decriminalize abortion in three circumstances as a matter of urgency, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s total abortion ban, in effect since 1884, threatens…
An abortion rights activist holds a plastic medallion reading "For the #3Causales (#3LegalGrounds), Life, Health and Dignity" during a protest to urge parliament to approve a proposed reform to the penal code that could end the total ban on abortion, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic March 18, 2021. 
News

Vienna Academic Faces Abusive ‘Terrorism’ Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should immediately release an anthropology master’s degree student at Central European University (CEU), or present evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested the student,…
Ahmed Samir Santawy, an anthropology master’s student at Central European University (CEU) detained in February 2021.
News

Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
News

Law Violates Young People’s Human Rights, Can Delay Their Care

(Chicago) – An Illinois law that requires a young person seeking an abortion to involve an adult family member is dangerous for youth in the state, violates their human rights, and threatens their health and safety, Human Rights Watch and the American…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
News

Significant Discrimination Against Women, Girls in Law and Practice

(Beirut) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made important women’s rights reforms in recent years, such as passing new domestic violence protections, but significant discrimination against women and girls remains, Human Rights Watch said today. Laws…
A foreign domestic worker with a child under a billboard in the United Arab Emirates.
News

Adel al-Hasani Apparently Detained for Critical Reporting

(Sanaa) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) security forces in southern Yemen have arbitrarily detained a Yemeni journalist since September 17, 2020, apparently for his critical news reporting, Human Rights…
Members of UAE-backed southern Yemeni separatist forces stand by a tank during clashes with government forces in Aden, Yemen August 10, 2019.
News

Monitoring, Tough Message on Dire Rights Situation Long Overdue

(Geneva) – Egypt’s human rights community is facing “annihilation” by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, more than 100 leading human rights organizations from around the world have warned today in a letter to foreign ministers. The groups…
Egyptian security forces have been involved in systematic abuses such as enforced disappearance and torture and have used abusive counterterrorism laws and measures to crush peaceful dissent. Egyptian security forces stand guard outside one of the entranc
News

Stalled Diplomatic Talks Highlight Urgent Need for Political Leadership

(Washington, DC) – More than three in five people responding to a new online survey in 28 countries oppose using weapons systems, commonly called “killer robots,” that select and attack targets without further human intervention, Human Rights Watch…
Campaign to Stop Killer Robots press briefing at the United Nations in New York in October 2019.
News

Further Steps Needed to Promote Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights

(Washington, DC) – United States President Joe Biden has issued a presidential memorandum that is an important first step to repair harm to sexual and reproductive health and rights, but more executive and legislative action is needed, Human Rights…
A woman walks past a mural on a Family Health Options clinic in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, May 16, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Reveal How Asylum Seekers at Border Were Short-Changed on Rights

(Washington) – Two years after the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, newly released government records reveal US immigration agencies’ efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
News

Congress Should Reject Constitutional Amendment

(Washington, DC) – Honduran lawmakers should reject a proposed constitutional amendment that would entrench current harsh restrictions on reproductive rights and the prohibition on same-sex marriage, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 21,…
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News

Urgently Address Economic, Political Crises

(Beirut) – The Lebanese authorities’ corruption and failure to address the massive political and economic crises the country is facing have resulted in the country’s most drastic deterioration of rights in decades, Human Rights Watch said today in its…
Lebanese people release balloons bearing the names of the victims of the 4 August Beirut seaport blast to mark the two-month anniversary of the explosion that killed 200 people and injured more than 6,500 others.