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A case pending before Colombia’s Constitutional Court, brought by Causa Justa, creates a landmark opportunity to end an approach to abortion that violates the rights of women and health workers by decriminalizing this critically important health care…
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An ongoing legal case in London could provide the impetus for significant reforms to improve human rights protections for workers in the garment industry. The UK legal action doesn’t relate directly to clothing companies, but it sounds a warning that…
Women Garment Industry
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Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished

(Bogotá) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report, “…
201904AME_Columbia_Catatumbo
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…
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Honorable Cristina Pardo Schlesinger Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia Rapporteur of Case T-6.612.909   Case: T-6.612.909 Subject: Human Rights Watch amicus curiae brief …
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End Exclusion from School for Married, Pregnant Students

(Dakar) – Millions of pregnant and married adolescent girls across many African countries are being denied their education because of discriminatory policies and practices, Human Rights Watch said today, on the Day of the African Child…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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Children Can No Longer Marry with Parental Consent

Malawi’s parliament took a historic step towards ending child marriage last week, when it removed from its Constitution a provision allowing children between the ages of 15 and 18 to marry with parental consent. Now, the minimum age of marriage…
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Decision to Redefine Childhood Should Help Deter Child Marriage

Malawi has made a commitment to amend its conflicting laws on the definition of a child, a move that will help in the fight against child marriage. Malawi’s constitution and the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act define a…
A 14-year-old girl holds her baby at her sister’s home in a village in Kanduku, in Malawi’s Mwanza district. She married in September 2013, but her husband chased her away. Her 15-year-old sister, in the background, married when she was 12.
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Governments Should Ensure Respect for Rights of Rural Women

Rojaina and her children used to live in a brick house in a small village in rural Malawi. After a coal mine started operating nearby, she was told to leave her house as the land was needed for mining. Rojaina and her children were given little money to…
Rojaina N., under the tree that served as a shelter for her family and where she and her family lived for a couple of weeks after their relocation due to coal mining operations in Mwabulambo, Karonga district.
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 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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“I feel very sad when I see small girls getting married. They don’t know the hard life that awaits them,” said Danira, who was married at age 14. “I wish I had gone to school. Life could be better for me because I could get a job.” Today, the…
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In 2011 an unknown attacker raped “Monica,” a human rights defender supporting victims displaced by the country’s protracted armed conflict. She immediately reported the rape to authorities, but they didn’t help her get access to health care. More than a…
A home in the rural area of Municipality San Carlos Antioquia abandoned by persons displaced by violence, with graffiti of a woman’s body left by armed groups.
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Amend Constitution; Address Anti-LGBTI Provisions

(Nairobi) – A new Malawi law that sets 18 as the minimum age for marriage is an important step toward preventing child marriage, Human Rights Watch said today. The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act (Marriage Act) of 2015 became law following the…