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Government Should Support Community Activists Working to Protect Survivors

Gladys Koskey, 48, has always kept her home in Trans Mara, southwestern Kenya, open to friends and relatives. But in the past decade, her home has also become an important refuge for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Gladys leads a group of…
Gladys Koskey helps a nine-years-old rape survivor who lives in her home with her writing.
News

87th Pre-Session

We write in advance of the 87th pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and its review of Kuwait’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This submission proposes issues and questions that the Committee members may want…
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Why Sex Work Should be Decriminalized

How did you find sex workers willing to talk about their work despite it being illegal in South Africa? It’s very difficult to gain sex workers’ trust without connections to people already actively supporting sex workers. For one, because their…
Sex workers wearing masks lead a march to mark International Sex Workers Rights Day in Johannesburg March 3, 2011
News

How Former President Jammeh Trapped, Raped, and Sexually Exploited Women

When did you first hear that Jammeh had raped and sexually assaulted women? The first stories surfaced when Human Rights Watch Senior Counsel Reed Brody and I started collecting evidence for the “Campaign to Bring Yahya Jammeh and his Accomplices to…
Fatou “Toufah” Jallow, May 25, 2019.
News

Women Tell Their Stories

Abortion in all instances, including rape, is illegal in Honduras. Any woman who has an abortion, and anyone found to have helped her, can be charged with a crime and imprisoned. For that reason, La Línea (“The Line”) was a rare resource in…
Lorena (a pseudonym) was unaware she was pregnant when she went to a hospital in intense pain two years ago. Doctors suspected she had attempted an abortion and called the police. She was taken from the hospital in handcuffs and is now facing charges.
News

International Conference on Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises

Statement by Human Rights Watch and Legal Action Worldwide at the International Conference on Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises in Oslo, Norway on May 23, 2019: Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. …
A Rohingya survivor of rape in Teknaf, Bangladesh, June 25, 2018.
News

Report on the Situation of Women and Girls from Northern Rakhine State

After the Myanmar military launched its campaign of ethnic cleansing in August 2017, Human Rights Watch researchers spoke with Rohingya women and girls from 19 villages in Rakhine State who had been raped by security forces. We witnessed their deep pain,…
A Rohingya Muslim woman walks at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on February 4, 2017.
News

Tales of Activism in the Fight Against Sexual Violence

Support and Justice - Aminetou Mint Ely More than two decades of activism helping Mauritania’s rape survivors have not dulled Aminetou Mint Ely’s fire. Always dressed in the brightly colored melahfas, traditional…
Rape survivors, NGO leaders, and activists supporting women’s and girls’ rights in Mauritania, Nouakchott, 2018.
News

Testimony of Skye Wheeler at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Co-Chairmen Representatives McGovern and Hultgren and members of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing on human rights and the use of sexual violence by the Burmese military against ethnic minorities in Burma. …
A Rohingya survivor of rape in Teknaf, Bangladesh, June 25, 2018.
News

Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights on the Situation of Women and Girls from Northern Rakhine State

Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights welcome the opportunity to provide joint input into the November 2017 request by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) for an exceptional report from the Myanmar…
Rohingya refugees arrive at night from Myanmar to Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 27, 2017.
News

Widespread Sexual Violence during Kenya’s 2017 Elections

    Judith Wavinya*, 30, was walking home on a cool August night in her neighborhood of Dandora in Nairobi, after spending the evening with her sister. She had to get back home to her three children and to prepare for the new day –…
Judith Wavinya (not her real name), 30, was attacked by two men on the night of August 11, 2017, as she was walking home. They asked if she knew them, threatened her with knives, and took her to an isolated place where they beat her badly and one of them