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Authorities Should Address Sexual Violence, Ensure Justice

Protests over sexual assault have renewed in India’s capital, Delhi, after a 9-year-old Dalit girl was killed on Sunday. Her family alleges that she was raped and murdered while fetching water from a crematorium in southwest Delhi. The crematorium’s…
Activists hold a candlelight march protesting the alleged rape and murder of a 9-year-old Dalit girl in New Delhi, India on August 4, 2021. 
News

International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
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Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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Summary For women like me, what is #MeToo? Poverty and stigma mean we can never speak out. There is no place safe for women like us. Not our workplaces, nor our homes, and not the road we take. –Shalini (name changed), a domestic worker, Gurgaon…
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Authorities Blame Critics After Rape and Murder in Uttar Pradesh State

The rape, torture, and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman allegedly by a group of dominant-caste men in the village of Hathras, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, has sparked widespread outrage. People across the country are protesting, demanding…
Chandrashekhar Azad, leader of the Bhim Army, a party advocating for the rights of Dalits, speaks during a protest against the gang rape and killing of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh state, in New Delhi, India, October 2, 2020. 
News

Enforce Laws, Create Protection Systems for Children

Protests broke out in the Maldives recently after the rape of a 2-year-old girl. She had apparently been attacked by her father, grandfather, and great grandfather, all of whom were arrested. Her 82-year-old great grandfather had previously been…
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Enforce Laws to Protect Women’s Safety

The 27-year-old veterinarian had called her family to say she was stranded with a flat tire in India’s Hyderabad city, and that a truck driver and his friends had offered to help. Then she stopped answering her phone. Later…
People shout slogans condemning rising cases of rape and violence against women during a protest in Ahmedabad, India, December 2, 2019.
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Why India’s Database of Sex Offenders May Do More Harm Than Good

In response to “stranger danger” fears, India has become the ninth country to adopt a sex offenders’ database, with personal details of those convicted for rape and sexual assault. The year-old database contains 500,000 names and will…
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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.
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28 years after Kunan and Poshpora, abuses still persist

February 23 sticks in my mind the way a birthday does for most people. After my first 10 years of Bharatanatyam training, I performed my arangetram — a classical dancer’s debut full-length solo recital — on that day in 2013. In telling…
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  India is witnessing the latest advance in women’s fight for workplace equality and dignity. Women in India have furiously taken to social media using the #MeToo hashtag to publicize accounts of workplace sexual harassment. Some of…
People hold a candlelight vigil in Bengaluru, India, to protest the rape of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua and a teenager in Unnao, April 13, 2018.
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Concerns Over Vigilante Violence, Data Protection, and Privacy Rights

The Indian government’s plan to develop a national registry of sexual offenders is raising a slew of concerns, from data breaches to violations of privacy protections, including for individuals who were never convicted of a sexual offense. …
Schoolgirls participate in a protest rally against the rape of two teenage girls in Chatra and Pakur districts of Jharkhand state, in Ranchi, India May 8, 2018.
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Need to Enforce Existing Laws to Protect Women and Children

Reeling from protests across the country demanding justice for victims in the recent  spate of sexual assaults, Indian authorities are under pressure to respond. One step the government has decided to adopt is a sex offenders’ database…
Women hold candles as they shout slogans during a protest against the rape of a ten-year-old girl, in the outskirts of Delhi, India April 25, 2018.
News

Death Penalty Is Cruel Populism; Instead, Reform Justice System, Ensure Protections

(New York) – The Indian parliament should not adopt into law an ordinance which introduces capital punishment for those convicted of raping a girl under 12 years of age, Human Rights Watch said today. India should instead work towards…
People hold a candlelight vigil in Bengaluru, India, to protest the rape of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua and a teenager in Unnao, April 13, 2018.
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Lawyers Try to Block Police from Filing Charges Against Hindu Suspects

A heated scene outside a courthouse in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state unfolded yesterday, as lawyers physically attempted to stop police from filing charges against six men and a boy accused of raping and murdering Asifa Bano, an 8-…
Lawyers clash with police outside a courthouse in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, April 9, 2018.
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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.
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Could Delhi’s Witness Protection Scheme Be a Template for a Nationwide Law?

A 22-year-old Dalit woman from Lalitpur district in Uttar Pradesh, reported being raped in January 2016. The police were reluctant to act because the man accused was a local leader of a political party with powerful caste affiliations.…
A close-up photo showing the hands of a sexual violence victim in India.
News
“I started ironing clothes and he started pulling me to try and rape me. I was lucky the younger brother came back and rang the doorbell–he then left,” 21-year-old “Basma N.,” (not her real name) told me. In February in Dar es Salaam,…
Poster detailing domestic workers’ rights at the office of Zanzibar: Conservation, Hotels, Domestic and Allied Workers Union (CHODAWU-Z).  Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
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Created in the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gangrape, the Nirbhaya Fund remains underused and the centres lack resources.

“Rape victims don’t really come here,” a woman counsellor from the non-governmental organisation tasked with running the one stop centre in Jaipur said. “They go to the hospital that is connected to the police station where they registered a…
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