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Supportive Community Response, Rather than Law Enforcement

Kaola Baird experienced intense feelings of depression and sadness. She began noticing that she was feeling drained, with limited energy and motivation. She just stopped engaging with life fully. Her experience is not unique. One in four people around the…
Kaola Baird with teammates at the Dragon Boat Race Festival
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Stories from People with Disabilities During Canada’s Extreme Heatwave

When temperatures in British Columbia, Canada, soared to nearly 50 degrees Celsius/122 degrees Fahrenheit this past summer, people with disabilities and older people were left unprotected. Hundreds of older people died. Heatwaves are expected to become…
Camper van at sunset
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People with Disabilities Find Strength Despite Discrimination

“I think I wouldn’t have achieved so much in my life without my disability,” said Doaa Qashlan, a university graduate and disability rights activist living in Gaza. Doaa, who was born with a physical disability and uses a wheelchair or an electric…
Doaa Qashlan speaks to Human Rights Watch during an interview in Gaza, November 18, 2020.
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Issue XV: The impact of COVID19- on women and girls’ education

UN Women, UNICEF and Human Rights Watch jointly issue this fifteenth alert to continue to highlight the gender specific impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan. This alert focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls’ education and the…
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Indonesia Helps People With Mental Health Conditions Find New Lives

Sodikin There used to be a hut next to a family’s home in Cianjur, West Java. In it, a man named Sodikin lived locked up and unable to stand. He ate, slept, and went to the bathroom in the hut, which had one window no bigger than the palms of…
Man working in a clothing factory in Indonesia, stitching buttons
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Even Government Offices in Iran Are Inaccessible for People With Disabilities

“I know it’s very dangerous,” she said. “Each time I get on an escalator with my wheelchair, I prepare myself for death. But I have no other choice. I have nobody to help me.”  In a new report, “‘I Am Equally Human’:…
© 2018 John Holmes for Human Rights Watch
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People with Disabilities in Brazil Forced to Live in Institutions

At age 25, Leonardo Barcellos de Albuquerque is finally where he wants to be – at home, living with his mother in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is creating his fourth music album – he released three other CDs over the past three years – and is also…
Leonardo_1
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The Stories From People With Disabilities Who Have Endured Humanitarian crises

Simplice – Central African Republic The frustration burned in Simplice Lenguy’s eyes as he spoke about the situation faced by people with disabilities since conflict erupted in the Central African Republic. In…
Ali, a 22-year-old Afghan asylum seeker with a disability, living in Moria camp, on the beach in Lesbos, Greece. He told Human Rights Watch he can’t access showers in the camp and sometimes tries to wash himself in the sea.
News

Long Journey Home for Baby With Disabilities

At her local church in Yerevan, Armenia, Siranush lit a candle and prayed that her daughter would survive the night. Lusine, 22, was hovering between life and death in a nearby hospital after a terrible car crash. As Siranush pleaded for her daughter’s…
Armenia Orphanage Witness - Meri 1
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At 19, Fraidy Reiss was trapped in an arranged marriage to an abusive husband and couldn’t find her way out. She lived in New York, in an Orthodox Jewish community; as far as her family was concerned, divorce wasn’t an option. Family and friends told her…
Fraidy Reiss at a Chain-In protest in 2015.
News

Nepal Has The Third Highest Rate of Child Marriage in Asia

Narendra Chamar, who is now in his early 30s, laughs these days when he speaks about his marriage. But during the actual ceremony he cried so much they had to stop so he could be taken to his mother and breast fed. He was 18 months old.…
Manju M., 16, Tilmaya M., 18, and Sangeeta M., 19, wait with their children outside of a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal. The parents of Manju M. arranged her marriage to a 19-year-old man when she was 15. Tilmaya M. eloped and married a 20-year-old man
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The day Julija was born should have been a day of celebration for Jasmina and Ivica Čuković, a Serbian couple, who had tried for years to have a baby. But the events following their daughter’s birth in a public hospital in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, left…
Julija Čuković, who spent ten months of her life in an institution, at home in Kragujevac with her parents, where she enjoys to play with her younger sister, also in the photo. © 2016 Zoran Stamenković
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At 14, Justine firmly believed that the world was her oyster and the future hers to shape and conquer.  She was bright and her mother made enough money as a seamstress to send her to a decent public school in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.  “I…
Zimbabwe child marriage
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Sisandua Hani’s fight to keep her son in school

Ntsikelelo is small for his age, and quite a handful. One moment, the 8-year old rolls around on the floor, the next instant he paces the room, impatiently and with big strides. The colorful picture books his mother has spread out on a low table hardly…
sisandua
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Ali Ahmad and his wife, Noorjann, are illiterate: “We can barely sign our names.”  But they believe in the power of education – Ali works long hours as a rickshaw driver while his wife labors at home, and they spend a week’s wages each month to send their…
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It was about two o’clock in the afternoon, on a warm December day in 2013, when the sound of gunshots and frantic shouting abruptly woke Ambroise Andet from his midday nap. Startled, the 27-year-old propped himself up where he had been sleeping and looked…
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Tatjana is 47, but she can’t travel to Austria to visit her daughter without permission from her legal guardian. In fact, she can’t even leave the town in Croatia where she lives without approval. It’s the same if she wants to move to another house, sign…
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Seven year-old Nika brims over with life, dancing and singing her way around the kitchen of her family’s home outside Moscow. All smiles, she pauses to tell a visitor about the ballerinas she saw perform at a recent Christmas show, recites bits of poetry…
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Faith learned she was HIV positive two years ago, after giving birth to her daughter. The Zambian government prides itself on its HIV prevention outreach, and every pregnant woman is supposed to be tested for the virus, to prevent passing it on to their…