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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
Over 10 million children are out of school in Nigeria and the global pandemic has only made it harder for young people to stay in school. There have been dire consequences for girls, who are at risk of being married off. In a recent report,…
A woman protests against child marriage in Lagos, Nigeria.
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.
News
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

Adopt and Enforce Laws on Violence Against Women

On May 28, Vera Uwaila Omosuwa, a 22- year old microbiology student at the University of Benin, Edo State was raped and brutally assaulted after she went to study in a church, according to reports received by the National Human Rights Commission.…
Nigerians gather to protest sexual assault and violence against women and girls on June 1, 2020.
News
  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 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…
202002wrd_uganda_protest.jpg
News

Federal Government, Other States Should Follow Ekiti State

Ekiti State in southwest Nigeria has adopted a policy to ban the expulsion of girls from schools during and after pregnancy, an important step in ending the longstanding discriminatory practice. Although Nigeria’s Child…
Jacinta, 15, was excluded from school after authorities found out that she was pregnant.
News

Sexual Exploitation and Harassment Also Widespread in Secondary Schools

A hard-hitting BBC television documentary, Sex for Grades, has uncovered rampant sexual abuse, harassment, and bullying of students at two prestigious universities in Nigeria and Ghana, and launched what will hopefully be a new movement.   …
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News
For years, international media have been full of horrifying stories of Nigerian women and girls trafficked to Libya and Europe for sexual and labor exploitation. The world now also knows very well that many refugees and migrants seeking…
A Nigerian woman sits in a center in Benin City.
News

Government Should Provide Victims With Better Support

Adaura now lives in an orphanage, with high walls and gates, despite being 25. She previously stayed in a shelter in similar conditions, alongside other trafficking survivors. The shelters are secluded, far away from the city or other neighborhoods. The…
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News

End Detention in Shelters, Provide More Support

(Abuja) – Many survivors of sex and labor trafficking struggle with unaddressed health challenges, poverty, and abhorrent conditions upon their return to Nigeria. Nigerian authorities have failed to provide the assistance that survivors need to…
A woman from Cameroon sits with her baby in a private shelter in Lagos, Nigeria.
Report
Summary When she was 18 in 2013, Adaura C. met a woman who promised her a job earning 150,000 naira (US$414) as a domestic worker in Libya. Adaura agreed, and the woman made the arrangements for her to travel from Nigeria to Libya. After a…
Video
Many survivors of sex and labor trafficking struggle with unaddressed health challenges, poverty, and abhorrent conditions upon their return to Nigeria. Nigerian authorities have failed to provide the assistance that survivors need to rebuild their lives…
News

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
News

Many Still Unaccounted For; Abductions Continue

(Abuja) – The five-year anniversary of the Chibok school abduction is a reminder that schoolchildren remain vulnerable to attacks and abductions by Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria’s beleaguered northeast region. The lack of…
One of the kidnapped Chibok girls celebrates with a family member following her release in Abuja, Nigeria, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016.
News

Repeal Draconian Sedition Act

(New York) – The Malaysian authorities should halt the investigation targeting organizers of the Women’s March in Kuala Lumpur on March 9, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The march’s organizers are being investigated for possible violations of…
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, left, passes the opening speech to King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah during the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 11, 2019.