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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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Saudi women's rights activists have been detained for 10 months

  Last week, Loujain al-Hathloul, a prominent Saudi women's rights activist, was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2019.  But Loujain is in jail. She, along with a dozen other women's…
Women walk past a poster of Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, February 12, 2018. © 2018 Reuters
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Nassima ran as a candidate in local elections in 2015 before authorities removed her name from the ballot. Hatoon is a professor of women’s history and among the first women to acquire a driver’s license in Saudi Arabia. Loujain…
Screenshot of an animation about domestic abuse and male guardianship in Saudi Arabia
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  Sexual Harassment in Garment Factories Eleven women garment workers from a factory in southern India sent a hand-written letter to a local union in late 2016.[1] They wrote: “The plight of women workers … we don’t have anyone who would…
Women Garment Industry
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When Saudi Arabia announced in September that it would, at last, lift the ban on women driving on June 24, 2018, I thought I would be celebrating a milestone that took brave Saudi women’s rights activists nearly three decades to achieve. Instead, as…
201710Mena_SaudiaArabia_Driving
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Jorge Luis Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings has a real-world equivalent in Cambodia. Call it the Book of Imaginary Enemies. This imagined book would tell tales of government attacks against rights activists, journalists and other peaceful critics…
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Despite setbacks for women’s rights around the globe in 2017, some of the most exciting reforms and positive momentum emerged from the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisian women have new protections against violence. Migrant domestic workers in…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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“Whore.... Do you think this is a brothel? You must meet the production demand here. If you want to continue to work here, listen to us.” This nasty threat is a snapshot of the harassment that supervisors and managers heap on many Bangladeshi…
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This week means “back-to-school” for millions of students across the globe. In Saudi Arabia, where the new schoolyear begins on September 10, girls have a particular reason to rejoice. For many decades, Saudi women and girls have been effectively deprived…
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Sarah Attar represents Saudi Arabia as the country's first Olympic female runner, competing in the women’s 800 meters
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“That’s the Rat Trap Door factory,” a garment worker told me, pointing to a little blue door on a windowless wall along National Road 4 in Phnom Penh. “The door is so small it looks like only rats can get in.” It didn’…
Women in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Women constitute about 90 percent of the workforce in Cambodia’s garment industry.
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Three videos on Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system went viral this week. In three days, the videos attracted 2 million views and effectively reached more than 6 million people. People tweeted and retweeted…
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Under a new agreement Somalia is sending between 600 and 1,000 domestic workers to Saudi Arabia in time for Ramadan. The month of fasting usually brings an increase in the demand for domestic workers as employers often host large iftar meals to break…
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May Day was celebrated in Cambodia with rallies and calls for better working conditions, but there was not much to celebrate. In April, Cambodia’s National Assembly passed a trade union law that falls well short of the International Labor…
Cambodia
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“It doesn’t matter whether you are pregnant or not – whether you are sick or not – you have to sit and work,” Po Pov told my colleague about her job in a Cambodian garment factory. “If you take a break, the work piles up on the machine and the…
An activist from the Worker Information Center, a local nongovernmental organization, sporting a t-shirt as part of a campaign to raise awareness about garment workers’ wages in Cambodia.
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May Day marks a perfect time for the Cambodian government to embark on a new chapter on labour rights in the garment sector. Officials can show the world in very concrete ways that their commitment to transparency and accountability is real and here to…
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