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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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Left Destitute and Sick, Communities Defy Police Abuse and Threats to Assert their Rights

What changes for a community once a mine starts operating? Most mining in South Africa takes place in rural areas, where people live off the land and their livestock. Mining often forces people to leave the land they use for farming and grazing…
Coal mine in Somkhele viewed from Ocilwane village in Fuleni, KwaZulu-Natal. © 2018 Rob Symons
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Violence, Discrimination Against Black Lesbians and Transgender Men

(Johannesburg) – Black lesbians and transgender men in South African townships and rural areas face an overwhelming climate of discrimination and violence despite protections promised them in the country’s constitution, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
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Workers Protected by Law, but Not in the Fields

(Cape Town) – Workers in Western Cape province who help produce South Africa’s renowned wines and fruit are denied adequate housing, proper safety equipment, and basic labor rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government of…
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You would think that, with its vibrant diamond trade, South Africa would be first in line to prevent the smuggling of diamonds from Zimbabwe. Instead, South Africa has played a more equivocal role with its neighbour. The result is that South Africa is at…
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Diamond Monitoring Body’s Failure to Suspend Allows for Sale of “Blood Diamonds”

(Johannesburg) - The credibility of the world's "blood diamond" monitoring group has been damaged after its failure this week to suspend Zimbabwe despite overwhelming evidence of serious human rights abuses and smuggling in the Marange diamond fields in…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…
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Conference Must Promote Rights-Based Response to HIV Pandemic

(Toronto) – Ongoing rights abuses are undermining efforts to fight the HIV pandemic and threatening the few, hard-won successes, Human Rights Watch said today, a month before the XVI International AIDS Conference opens in Toronto. "Twenty-five years into…
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Success in Fighting AIDS Hinges on Protecting Rights of Women and Girls

(New York, December 1, 2003) — Violence and discrimination against women and girls is fueling Africa’s AIDS crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today on World AIDS Day. African governments must make gender equality a central part of…
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Women victims of rape or assault in South Africa face a criminal justice system that is too often unable or unwilling to assist them in their efforts to seek redress. In Violence against Women and the Medico-Legal System in South Africa, released to…
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