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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Reform System, Laws to Protect Migrant Women

(Beirut) – Many migrant domestic workers are trapped in abusive employment in Oman, their plight hidden behind closed doors, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Omani authorities should take immediate steps to reform the restrictive…
A migrant domestic worker watches over a child playing in the Magic Planet, City Centre Muscat, a shopping mall in Oman.
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Summary I would start working at 4:30 a.m. and finish at 1 a.m. For the entire day they wouldn’t let me sit. I used to be exhausted. There were 20 rooms and over 2 floors. He wouldn’t give me food. When I said I want to leave, he said, “I bought…
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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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Gulf Countries Should Improve Laws, Ratify Treaty

(Beirut) – Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should bring their national laws on domestic workers up to the standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention. All six countries should ratify 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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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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It’s the Americas’ largest reunion. Happening every three years, the Summit of the Americas brings together the heads-of-state of the region to talk about pressing concerns. Over the weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, the theme will be “Connecting the…
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President Yoweri Museveni recently said the Domestic Relations Bill, which would bolster women's rights in the family and criminalize marital rape, is "not urgently needed." But what could be more urgent than stopping the brutal violence that puts women…
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Contested Bill Would Criminalize Marital Rape, Help Combat HIV/AIDS

Legislation on marital rape and equality in the family could save the lives of countless women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the speaker of Uganda's Parliament.   The letter urged the Ugandan parliament to debate the long-pending…
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Letter to the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda

Hon. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda P.O.Box 7178, Kampala Uganda Via Post and e-mail (speaker@parliament.go.ug) Re: Domestic Relations Bill and Marital Rape Your Excellency: We write to urge you to ensure that the Domestic…
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The Ugandan government's failure to protect women from domestic violence and discrimination increases women's risk of contracting HIV, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The 77-page report, "Just Die Quietly: Domestic Violence and…