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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

Full Investigation Needed into Ignored Riot Warnings, Sexual Violence

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several…
Kasapa Prison
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Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several dozen female detainees,…
News

Government Should Ratify Landmark Treaty on Workplace Violence

Stella (not her real name) had worked in Mukono as a waitress for about a year and a half and came to the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda) in 2019 to seek help because her supervisor was harassing her. What began as “uncomfortable…
Grace Twisimire, 25, sits in her shop selling clothes and plastic shoes in Kampala, Uganda, June 20, 2020.
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Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
News

Follows Netherlands Government’s Decision to Halt Adoptions

A recent inquiry in the Netherlands into intercountry adoptions uncovered such damning abuses that the government froze all overseas adoptions. Following the Dutch investigation, the Swedish Family Law and Parental Support Authority, the agency…
Vy över Sveriges parlament (riksdag) i Stockholm den 9 april 2006.
News

Armed Criminals Abducted at Least 170 People, Many Women, Since 2017

Criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom at least 170 people near the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 2017 and March 2020. Small groups armed with guns and machetes have beaten, tortured, and murdered hostages,…
Criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom at least 170 people near the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 2017 and March 2020.
News
It was disappointing to read a recent article by a  senior police officer, Emilian Kayima, in The New Vision blaming women for being victims of sexual violence. Instead of taking on the men responsible for the violence and abuse, Kayima,  a former police…
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The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) conviction of the Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda sends a strong message that justice may await those responsible for grave crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said today. 
News

Expanded ‘Mexico City’ Policy Causing Cuts in HIV, Reproductive Care

(Washington, DC) – Early effects of United States restrictions to global health aid include cuts to essential health services in Kenya and Uganda, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that was released today.…
A woman walks past a mural on a Family Health Options clinic in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, May 16, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News

Repeated Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

(Nairobi) – Ugandan soldiers in the Central African Republic have sexually exploited or abused at least 13 women and girls since 2015, including at least one rape, and threatened some victims to remain silent, Human Rights Watch said today. The Ugandan…
“Karin,” a 15-year-old girl in Obo who was eight months pregnant at the time of photo.
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‘She Decides’ Summit to Counter Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’

(Brussels) – Governments should pledge political and financial support for sexual and reproductive health to counter the United States’ “Global Gag Rule,” Human Rights Watch said today. The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden are hosting a summit in…
Women and girls wait with their children outside a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal.
News

Attacks on Education Persist

October 9, 2016 marks 20 years since the Lord’s Resistance Army abducted 139 school girls from St. Mary’s College in Aboke, Northern Uganda. The rebels raided the Catholic girls’ boarding school, ransacking the school clinic, attempted to burn down some…
Former abducted Ugandan girls from St. Mary's College in Aboke who returned from captivity by Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels walk with lit candles during a ceremony October 10, 2005 to commemorate the abduction day.
News

Around the World, Indigenous Peoples Suffer Violence, Discrimination, and Exclusion

The rights of indigenous peoples around the world are more often breached than observed – something we should remember today, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. According to the United Nations, the world has an estimated 370…
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Today’s International Criminal Court (ICC) conviction of a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president was both a victory for sexual violence victims and a stark warning to senior commanders who turn a blind eye while their troops rape and commit…
Former Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba looks up when sitting in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands, September 29, 2015.
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The Democratic Republic of Congo lost a hero this week. Rebecca Masika Katsuva, a women’s rights activist who dedicated her life to helping rape victims in eastern Congo, passed away unexpectedly on February 2. Masika had a huge…
Rebecca Masika Katsuva