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The SC Order is Welcome, But More Needs to Be Done for People with Disabilities

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green uniforms, their heads shaved because of the…
Women with perceived or actual psychosocial disabilities at a mental hospital in Mumbai
News

Significant Victory Requires Holistic Approach to Implementation

I vividly remember the first time visited a mental hospital in Mumbai. In one room, dozens of people lay on the dirty floor, the stench of urine overpowering the air. The women wore shabby green…
Women lying on the ground in a room.
News

Opportunity for Expanding Access to Justice for People with Disabilities

A recent judgment by India’s Supreme Court is a watershed moment for women with disabilities in India and worldwide. The case involved a 19-year-old blind woman who was raped by her brother’s friend. The court in its April judgment, rendered by…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
News

Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
News

Provide Roadmaps for Reform Ahead of Elections

(New York) – Candidates and political parties contesting India’s parliamentary elections, slated for April and May 2019, should commit to strengthening human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter. Human Rights Watch…
Government officers distribute postal ballot papers to a election presiding officer ahead of the country's general elections in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
News

Some Survivors of Sexual Violence Spend Years Awaiting Compensation

Good things happen to those who wait – or so the saying goes. However, women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence in India can spend years waiting for justice. In 2014, 13-year-old “Razia,” who lives in a…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
Report
Summary The police asked me very nasty things like how it felt for me. I told them I was totally unconscious, so how would I know? The police said things like, ‘She’s mental, why should I pay attention to her?’  —Susmita, 26, a…
News

Reforms on Sexual Violence Not Implemented for ‘Invisible Victims’

(New Delhi) – Women and girls with disabilities in India who survive sexual violence face high barriers to access the justice system, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Five years ago, the government adopted significant…
When she was 13, Razia (not her real name), who has an intellectual disability and difficulties in speaking, was raped by her brother’s tutor in 2014.
Video
This is a guide for people with disabilities. In India, if you experience sexual abuse (bad touch) or rape, the police, hospital, and courts are supposed to help you. These are your rights. It is wrong for someone to touch you when you don’t want them to…
Video
Women and girls with disabilities in India who survive sexual violence face high barriers to access the justice system, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Five years ago, the government adopted significant legal reforms for sexual violence…
Report
Summary This is what I have to say about the wounds on the body of the said accused. Since he was a hard core criminal, he refused to give any information. It was essential to get that information from him, that’s why [the police] used the “truth…
News

Recognize Rights of Women Forced Into Mental Health Centers in India

Around the world, simply being a woman means you’re more likely to be discriminated against and to experience violence than men. But women with disabilities are even more susceptible to abuse. Through December 10, activists worldwide are uniting to raise…
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News

Camp Closure Threat Triggers Thousands Returning to Danger

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s repatriation program for Somali refugees, fueled by fear and misinformation, does not meet international standards for voluntary refugee return. Many refugees living in Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab camp, home to at least 263,000 Somalis,…
Photo of Somali refugees getting on buses to leave Dadaab refugee camp.
Report
Summary The final stage of the [2011] revolution was in Sirte. We were filled with hope. Then step by step, Daesh took over. Now we feel we are cursed. -“Ali,” resident who fled ISIS in Sirte In…
News
“I used to be tied up at home with a plastic rope,” Rafi, a 29-year-old man with a mental health condition living on the outskirts of Jakarta, told me. “I had to go to the toilet on the spot, in the drain in the room. My heart broke when they chained me…
Report
Summary Patients have been inside for a long time. The centers are not catering for people to return to society, patients are not getting any counselling or psychotherapy. When they are discharged, they are not given any prescription…
News
  Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ (“the Committee”) for its Day of General Discussion on the right to education for persons with disabilities. Human Rights Watch…
News
“Ten male and female cops surrounded me. They started kicking me against my shin with their boots, laughing as they pushed me into the police van,” Deepali, a 45-year-old mother of four, told me in Delhi. The police did not tell her why she was being…
Video
Women and girls with disabilities in India are forced into mental hospitals and institutions, where they face unsanitary conditions, physical and sexual violence, and involuntary treatment, including electroshock therapy without consent. As one woman put…