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Withhold Votes for Serious Rights Violators Cameroon, Eritrea, UAE

(New York) – A noncompetitive United Nations election for Human Rights Council members virtually guarantees seats for candidate countries with abysmal rights records. UN member countries should refrain from voting for Cameroon, Eritrea, United Arab…
UN General Assembly Hall
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Revoke Decree; Allow Pregnant Girls, Young Mothers to Attend School

(Nairobi) – Tanzania’s ban on pregnant students and adolescent mothers attending school has denied tens of thousands of girls their right to education, Human Rights Watch said today. Public schools across mainland Tanzania conduct compulsory pregnancy…
The flag of the United Republic of Tanzania.
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Five More Sub-Saharan Countries Act to Protect Girls’ Education; Barriers Remain

(Nairobi) – African countries have taken important steps in recent years to protect the right to education of pregnant students and adolescent mothers, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2019, at least five sub-Saharan African countries –…
Young mothers at secondary school in Kenya
News

Release Political Prisoners; Respect Right to Peaceful Assembly

(Dakar) – Cameroon’s authorities should ensure accountability for their security forces’ crackdown on opposition leaders, supporters, and peaceful protesters in September 2020, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. They should…
Demonstrators stopped by gendarmes and police in Bafang, West Cameroon, on September 22, 2020.
News

Policing Sportswomen’s Bodies Undermines Rights of Women and Girls

This week, at a ceremony hosting the Tanzania men’s football team, President Samia Suluhu made remarks that cast aspersions on the “femininity” and gender of Tanzanian women footballers. Her comments have received widespread condemnation from women…
Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks during a tour of the Tanga region of Tanzania on March 16, 2021. 
News

Repeal Anti-Homosexuality Law, Protect LGBT People

A brutal attack on two transgender women in Cameroon occurred just weeks after a court ordered the women, Shakiro and Patricia, released from prison pending their appeal of a five-year sentence on arbitrary “homosexuality” charges. The attack is a…
Patricia and Shakiro, two transgender women who were convicted in May of "attempted homosexuality," record a video after their release to thank those who supported them in Douala, Cameroon, July 16, 2021.
News

Protect Civilians in Anglophone Regions, Hold Attackers Accountable

(Nairobi) – New abuses in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions by both government security forces and armed separatists highlight the urgent need to protect communities at risk and to hold those responsible for abuses to account, Human Rights Watch said…
A Cameroonian elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) member patrols in the city of Buea in the anglophone South-West region, Cameroon, on October 4, 2018.
News

Authorities Backsliding on Rights Reforms

On Wednesday morning, police in Mwanza, in northern Tanzania, surrounded the hotel occupied by members of the country’s main opposition party, Chadema, and arrested 11 party members, including the party chairman, Freeman Mbowe. While the other party…
Tanzania Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe (center) arrives at the party's headquarters after being released from Segerea prison in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 13, 2020.
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RE: Challenges to Implementation of GCM Objectives #4, 10, 13, 15, 17, 21 in Cameroon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, December 2018 – June 2021

Contents: I. Introduction II. Human trafficking (Nigeria, Senegal) III. Migrant detention (Mauritania, South Africa) IV. Migrant returns (Cameroon, Mauritania, Tanzania) V. Discrimination, xenophobia, access to services and documentation (South…
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President Suluhu Should Support Education of Pregnant Girls

Tanzania’s first woman president, Samia Suluhu, took office in March 2021. Her administration has the opportunity to call on education authorities to end the exclusion of pregnant and married girls from public schools. She should urge them to adopt a…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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Lack of Transparency, Corruption Allegations Mar Covid-19 Spending

(Nairobi) – The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board should ensure that a three-year loan sought by Cameroon is used to meet its human rights obligations and not lost to corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. It should require the…
CDC Cameroon Associate Director for Program and Science, Dr. Clement Ndongmo, observes Covid-19 testing procedures for passengers arriving at Nsimalen International Airport in Yaoundé. 
News

Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
News

Release Unjustly Jailed Critics, Human Rights Defenders

Today marks one week since prominent Cameroonian human rights lawyer, Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus, was thrown behind bars on bogus charges of inciting terrorism. He should be released immediately. Gendarmes arrested Amungwa on May 31 at the Groupement…
A patrol of Cameroonian gendarmes during a political rally in the Omar Bongo Square, Buea, capital of the South-West region, on October 3, 2018. © 2018 Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images
News

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Three years ago, the Tanzanian human rights activist Vicky Ntetema and I sat down at a quiet Dar es Salaam restaurant to talk about the human rights situation in her country. I ordered a meal, but she didn't. She said she didn't eat at…
Samia Suluhu Hassan, center, made history when she was sworn in as Tanzania's first female president at a ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam, March 19, 2021. 
News

Release Trans Women, End Anti-LGBT Persecution

On May 11, a Cameroonian court sentenced two transgender women to five years in prison and fines of 200,000 CFA (USD $370) under a law that forbids same-sex relations. The women, Njeuken Loic (known as “Shakiro”) and Mouthe Roland (known as “Patricia…
Njeuken Loic (known as “Shakiro”) and Mouthe Roland (known as “Patricia”), two transgender women, in a Douala prison.
News

Presidential Directives Spurred by IMF Loan Talks Present Opportunity, Risks

(Nairobi) – Cameroonian president Paul Biya’s recent directives to improve oversight and investigate misappropriation of Covid-19 funding requires additional safeguards, Human Rights Watch said today. The call for greater oversight was apparently…
A picture showing Cameroon President Paul Biya who recently gave directives to improve oversight and investigate misappropriation of Covid-19 funding.
News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

Repeal Law, Protect LGBT Rights

(Nairobi) – Cameroonian security forces have arbitrarily arrested, beaten, or threatened at least 24 people, including a 17-year-old boy, for alleged consensual same-sex conduct or gender nonconformity, since February 2021,…
Njeuken Loic (known as “Shakiro”) and Mouthe Roland (known as “Patricia”), two transgender women, in a Douala prison.
News

Anti-Corruption Measures a Step Forward, but Weak Implementation

(Washington, DC) –  The International Monetary Fund (IMF), despite overall progress in its anti-corruption efforts, has not ensured sufficient oversight of its Covid-19 emergency loans, Human Rights Watch and Transparency International said today…
International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2017.