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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,…
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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.
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UK Program Behind the Guide Needs Better Strategy to End Rape During Wartime

The UK government signaled this week that it wants to reignite its initiative designed to end rape during war. As such, members of the initiative and their partners are seeking input for a guide on interviewing victims of conflict-related sexual violence…
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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. 
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Home Office Memo Ignores Suffering of Trafficking Survivors

This week, the United Kingdom Home Office, the country’s interior ministry, came under heavy criticism from the Nigerian anti-trafficking agency and UK politicians, human rights lawyers, and nongovernmental groups for claiming Nigerian women and girls…
Nigerian teenagers and young women selling sex in Italy
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Other Governments Should Address Girls Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products

Every girl around the world has feared it, or worse, felt it: the snickers of peers who see bloodstains on her clothes, the sneers of classmates as she slips a pad into her pocket. But what of the girls who can’t afford sanitary…
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Rugby Clubs Set Good Example, But Legal Reform Needed

An unlikely source took a stance on respect for women: professional rugby. Two Northern Ireland players had their contracts revoked following their widely publicized rape prosecution. Both players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart…
A rally held in support of the woman at the centre of the Belfast rape trial in which all four defendants including Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of all charges, Belfast, March 31, 2018.
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John Worboys Case Should Make Ministers Abandon Plans to Scrap the Act

This week’s landmark judgement by the UK Supreme Court against the London Metropolitan Police for failing adequately to investigate the John Worboys case may bring some belated relief to women he drugged and raped. The Court’…
A London black cab taxi drives past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in late afternoon sunlight in London, Britain, November 10, 2016.
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Not Enough Focus on Women’s Rights in Election Manifestos

Domestic violence. Equal pay for equal work. Family leave. Child and forced marriage. People often dub these “women's issues,” and, in political debate, treat them as “softer” (read: less important) than, say, security or trade. That’s…
women's march London
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Ratify Convention and Protect Women from Violence

“I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor.” British MP Michelle Thomson made that courageous statement on December 8, when she told the House of Commons about her rape at age 14 and its long-term consequences. Decades had passed before Thomson made this public…
British MP Michelle Thomson made that courageous statement on December 8, 2016.
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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
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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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A year ago today activists attended the Girl Summit, a global meeting hosted by the UK government to agree on action to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage within a generation. Sitting in the audience, I listened to the promises about…
Belkis, 15 years old, holds her one-year-old son in her mother’s house which she returned to after the husband she was married to at age 13 abandoned her.
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In a move that will surely draw a collective cheer from thousands of women whose lives have been destroyed by brutal sexual violence, the European Parliament announced that Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege won the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought…
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“What’s so scary about smart girls?” The question was posed by a donor representative speaking at the Girl Summit 2014 this week in London. The speaker’s answer to his own question – that smart girls can change the world – matched the mood of…
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New Judicial Mechanism Needed to Bring Perpetrators to Justice

Introduction Horrific levels of rape and other forms of sexual violence have plagued eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for almost two decades. Tens of thousands of women, girls, men, and boys have been raped and otherwise…