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Ruling means justice for victim, first step toward directing policy changes

In a landmark ruling – its first on a domestic violence case in Russia – the European Court of Human Rights found that Russia’s lack of legislation to combat domestic violence, as well as the absence of protection orders, indicated a…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
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Despite their mandate to maintain peace and protect people in war-torn countries, some UN peacekeepers have themselves been abusers. Highly publicized allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic have…
Women walk by a United Nations peacekeeping armored vehicle guarding the outer perimeter of a school used as an electoral center at the end of the presidential and legislative elections, in the mostly muslim PK5 neighborhood of Bangui.
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Julia adopted a baby girl born four months premature in 2008. The baby weighed just 1.5 pounds and had to be resuscitated. Julia and her partner longed to have more time with their baby during the 110 days she spent in the hospital, but had to save their…
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Women in Peru facing tough reproductive choices got great news this week when the Ministry of Health adopted new abortion guidelines that should help doctors treat patients in need. Ninety years ago, Peru’s lawmakers decided that even though abortion is a…
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  Menstruation isn’t something that necessarily leaps to mind when one thinks of human rights. But May 28, 2014, the first-ever global Menstrual Hygiene Day, is designed to change that – it is a day established by a coalition of nongovernmental…
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Yesterday, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia inked an agreement that says Indonesian women working in Saudi homes will be able to keep their passports, communicate with their families, get paid monthly, and have time off. The new pact comes in the wake of years…
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Yesterday, a 565-member forum in Yemen, created to help establish the building blocks for a new constitution, took the major step of releasing a report that recommended a minimum age for marriage of 18 for both boys and girls. The forum, which began in…
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When Samantha learned she was pregnant, she hoped for a healthy delivery, a happy baby, and a smooth return to work. Life did not go according to plan. Samantha had a C-section, and the wound got infected. She took eight weeks of leave from work, much of…
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Tomorrow is the International Day of the Girl: a day to reflect on how girls are doing the world over and what is holding them back. We now know that a fundamental factor to determine whether a girl can enjoy her rights throughout her life is at what age…
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The "finger" test found to violate rights

After a man she was in a relationship with raped her, Sandhya went to a hospital for an examination and treatment. "The clerk told me a male doctor will conduct the test [forensic examination] and asked me whether that was ok," Sandhya, who is in her 20s…
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2012 brought significant progress for the rights of domestic workers, with dozens of countries adopting policy or legislative measures to strengthen protections for domestic workers, including 8 that moved to ratify the ILO Convention Concerning Decent…
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More impact as of July 12, 2012: Saudi Arabia has said that it will send two female athletes to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Saudi Arabia has announced that it will allow women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time,…
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In October, 2011, the Obama administration said it would send 100 US military advisers to central Africa to help the region’s armies combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a vicious Ugandan rebel group. Human Rights Watch has pressed the US government…
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Council of Europe Convention calls for hotlines, shelters, medical and forensic services

Hamiyet, a member of Turkey’s Kurdish minority, was a 15-year-old newlywed when her husband began beating her every evening after work. He hit her when she was pregnant with each of their nine children, and he raped her almost nightly. She sought help…
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Domestic workers -- nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers -- are some of the most exploited workers in the world. But a new international treaty has been adopted to help protect them, thanks in part to 10 years of Human Rights Watch research and advocacy…
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On April 27, 2011, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the elimination of the city's backlog of 6,132 untested sexual assault evidence kits, or "rape kits," collected through December 2008. This important announcement came two years after…
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As told by Nadim Houry, director of Human Rights Watch's Beirut office It was 2008, and along Hamra Street, one of Beirut's main thoroughfares, women's rights demonstrators had placed a series of identical cutouts shaped like women's bodies. Painted red…
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From Lebanon’s advocacy campaign to June’s international convention

As told by Nisha Varia, senior researcher in the Women's Rights Division Each poster in the ad campaign featured a woman in the uniform typically worn by housekeepers and nannies, complete with ruffled apron. Below the image were facts about abuse of…