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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.
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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.
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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…
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Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch.  The report, “The War in Catatumbo: Abuses by Armed Groups Against…
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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, “…
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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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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.
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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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Nigeria’s President Pledged to Investigate Sexual Assault of Women Displaced by Militant Group

6 Dec 2016 Update:  Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris said ten men have been arrested for sexually abusing and exploiting women and girls who fled Boko Haram and who now live in camps. Those arrested include policemen,…
Women cook in pots heated up with firewood at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp at Dikwa in Borno State, north-eastern Nigeria, on February 2, 2016.
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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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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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Last week, Colombia’s senate passed an important bill that is a major step in aiding and protecting sexual violence survivors – especially those who are raped or assaulted by guerillas, paramilitaries, Colombian forces, or others in the context of the…
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“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
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Rights Out of Reach Obstacles to Health, Justice, and Protection for Displaced Victims of Gender-Based Violence in Colombia Summary Obstacles to Medical Attention Obstacles to Justice…
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Ensure Perpetrators Prosecuted, Health Services for Victims of Rape, Domestic Violence

(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s laws on violence against women are not adequately protecting victims displaced by the armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face…
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As Women Flee Violence in Rural Areas, Cities Offer No Safe Haven

I sat down with Mercedes on a sleepy afternoon in Medellin, Colombia. She was nervous. I was exhausted. Mercedes was my 60th interview with women and girls in Colombia – all of whom survived sexual or family violence, and all of whom had fled their close-…