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Fragile Gains Made Since 2001 Should Be Expanded, Protected

With the withdrawal of the last US forces from Afghanistan, fighting in the country has intensified and the Taliban are gaining ground. The prospect of an expanded civil war and widening Taliban control looms. In the midst of it all, many donor countries…
Delegates attend the last day of the Afghan Loya Jirga meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 3, 2019.
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“For me, if I was writing an article, I might call it how the pandemic saved our lives,” said Amanda Furdge, who, through the US-based Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice, trains high school girls from the deep South of…
Amanda Furdge (left) advises participants of the Young Women’s Leadership Institute on how to engage and educate registered voters
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How an Undervalued Workforce and Allies Secured Sweeping Labor Protections

Ten years ago, on June 16, 2011, a landmark international treaty was adopted to help protect domestic workers around the world. The International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 189, Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers radically changed how…
Domestic worker leaders chant “Up up domestic workers, down down with slavery” after the ILO vote to adopt the Domestic Workers Convention, June 16, 2011
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The US Withdrawal, Drops in Foreign Aid, and Health Care for Women and Girls

When the United States announced in April that it would withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, it raised concerns the move would come with cuts in development assistance. Yet dwindling foreign investment has already left Afghanistan’s government with…
Midwives care for a mother who has just given birth in a hospital room
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Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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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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July 2020

  Freedom of Expression Oman’s Basic Law guarantees freedom of expression, but restricts this right based on “the conditions and circumstances defined by the Law,” and prohibits any publication that “leads to public discord, violates the…
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Kenyans are speaking about divorce more openly than ever before. But women still face insurmountable difficulty when trying to claim matrimonial property after divorce. Human Rights Watch found that the process for dividing up this property discriminates…
Women registering for a community dialogue meeting organized by the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) with the Milimani Law Courts in Kibera, Nairobi.
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  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
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How a Small African Nation Took on Myanmar’s Crisis – and Won

It was a year ago that you started pursuing the unique approach to holding Myanmar accountable in the ICJ. How did that come about? The idea of a country without any connection to the crimes bringing a case to the International Court of Justice had…
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, carries his mother, Alima Khatoon, to a refugee camp after crossing from Burma into Bangladesh on Sept. 16, 2017.
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Persistence Over Many Years Helps Bring Bosco Ntaganda to Justice

How long had you been investigating Ntaganda’s abuses? I started documenting his abuses when I first moved to Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008. Bosco Ntaganda was a member of the Rwandan-backed CNDP (Congrès national pour la…
Bosco Ntaganda sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court
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Forests Razed to Make Way for Oil Palm Plantations

What Indigenous communities did you focus on? Indonesia is home to about 50 to 70 million Indigenous people, about a quarter of the country’s population. We looked specifically at the impact of large-scale oil palm plantations on two groups:…
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Domestic Violence Goes Unaddressed in Tajikistan

What is happening in Tajikistan in terms of domestic violence? Reports indicate that at least one out of five, and probably more, women in Tajikistan have been abused by a current or former husband or partner. The number is likely much higher…
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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
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New Treaty Defends People From Workplace Violence and Harassment

Can you explain what the ILO is? The International Labour Organization is the UN-based organization that deals with all issues related to employment and work. It’s where they set the minimum standards for everything to do with worker’s rights.…
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