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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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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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(Dakar, June 26, 2019) – Jammeh is currently in Equatorial Guinea, where he sought exile after losing the 2016 presidential election to Adama Barrow. A Gambian Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is documenting human rights violations…
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How Former President Jammeh Trapped, Raped, and Sexually Exploited Women

When did you first hear that Jammeh had raped and sexually assaulted women? The first stories surfaced when Human Rights Watch Senior Counsel Reed Brody and I started collecting evidence for the “Campaign to Bring Yahya Jammeh and his Accomplices to…
Fatou “Toufah” Jallow, May 25, 2019.
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Investigate Yahya Jammeh for Rape, Sexual Assault

(Dakar) – Three women have accused Gambia’s former president, Yahya Jammeh, of rape and sexual assault while he was in office, Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International said today. Former Gambian officials said that presidential aides regularly…
Fatou “Toufah” Jallow, May 25, 2019.
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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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On the morning of July 21, three women left a United Nations base on the outskirts of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to buy food for their children. They are among thousands of people taking shelter in U.N. bases because of the country’s on-again, off-…
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Arms Embargo, Additional UN Sanctions Needed

(Nairobi) – Soldiers killed and raped civilians and extensively looted civilian property, including humanitarian goods, during and after clashes between government and opposition forces in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, in July, 2016, Human Rights Watch…
Looted room in a house attacked by government forces in the Munuki neighborhood of Juba, South Sudan on July 10, 2016.
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Finance, Carry Out National Action Plans

(Nairobi) – African governments should coordinate action to improve laws, education, health care, and public awareness to end the scourge of child marriage, Human Rights Watch said today on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2015. Forty percent…
A young, unmarried girl stands amid a herd of cattle outside Bor, the capital of Jonglei State.  Cattle carry significant social, economic, and cultural importance for South Sudan's pastoralist ethnic groups, which use cows for payment of dowry.
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Opening the Door for Girls' Education, Health, and Freedom from Violence

Introduction I faced a lot of problems in marriage. I was young and did not know how to be a wife. I was pregnant, had to look after my husband, do housework, deal with in-laws, and work on the farm. My worst time was…
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Survivors say rape has become "just a normal thing" for women caught up in South Sudan's civil war

When government forces launched their attack on the village of Bauw in South Sudan’s Unity state in early summer, Nyaduri and several other women fled into the bush. Their hiding place only gave them protection for so long. Fighters soon…
Roda, 20, fled to Bentiu from Mayendit county in late May 2015 when Bul fighters attacked her village, burning everything in sight.
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Summary In late April 2015, South Sudan’s government forces—the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (the “SPLA”)—and allied armed militia began a multi-pronged military campaign in oil-producing Unity state, against territory at that time…
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Killings, Rapes of Unity State Civilians Are War Crimes

(Nairobi) – South Sudanese government forces and allied fighters carried out scores of killings, rapes, and widespread burning and pillage of civilian property in a military offensive in Unity State causing forced displacement, Human…
A woman at the front of a line for water in the UNMISS camp near Bentiu is directed to an enclosed water pumping area where demand is high and women must wait in long lines, sometimes for hours even before dawn.