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Lawmakers Have Opportunity to Strengthen Flawed Law

Ainagul from Aktobe, Gulnara from Kostanai, Arailym from Almaty, and Madina from Karaganda: these women from cities across Kazakhstan share a painful connection. They are all survivors of domestic violence at the hands of their abusive partners or…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News

Government Should Ensure Protection for Survivors During COVID-19 Lockdown

While Kazakhstan authorities fight the spread of coronavirus by putting much of the country under lockdown, they should ensure domestic violence victims can still access refuge and services despite quarantine measures. On…
A woman rides a bus wearing face protective mask amid concerns over the coronavirus, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, March 16, 2020.
News

Revise Draft Law on Peaceful Protests

Update: In an online hearing on April 7, an appeals court in Kazakhstan upheld the lower court’s ruling penalizing the Women’s Day march activists with administrative fines. On April 8, parliament passed, in a second reading, the…
Symbolic burning of a funeral wreath during celebration of International Women's Day in Almaty, Kazakhstan, March 8, 2020.
News
Every year on March 8, Kazakhstan’s leaders commemorate International Women’s Day – a national holiday – in speeches praising women for their professional competitiveness and achievements, beauty, and “love for family values and…
Women, wearing traditional clothes, participate in Nowruz celebrations at the a Center in Astana, Kazakhstan on March 21, 2019.
News
What does a woman do if she is being attacked or harassed by strangers outside her home? Her instinct is to seek refuge and protection in her own home, where she feels safe. But what if a woman is being abused by her husband or partner in the home?…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News

UN Body Criticizes Domestic Violence Record, Urges Protection for Women with Disabilities

The United Nation’s top women rights body has criticized Kazakhstan’s government over its poor record on domestic violence and protecting women with disabilities. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News

Ensure Protection, Access to Justice, Needed Services

Update 13 December 2019: Human Rights Watch’s response to the October 16 letter to the Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan can be found here. Update 4 November 2019: On  18 October 2019, Human Rights Watch received a response to its…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News
From time to time, the killing of a woman at the hands of a male partner or an ex outrages Brazil. If there is video, the murder may climb to the top of the headlines. Such was the case of Tatiane Spitzner, the 29-year-old…
Tatiane Spitzner
News

Domestic Violence in Brazil

Last Sunday at 6:30 a.m., Cláudia Zerati was killed in her apartment in a building with a pool, gym, and sauna in Perdizes, an upper-middle class neighborhood in São Paulo. About 34 hours later, Siria Silva Souza was killed in a wooden…
Demonstrators attend a protest against rape and violence against women in Brasilia, Brazil, May 29, 2016.
News
I met Taise Campos, a 38-year-old schoolteacher, last February, when I traveled with a Human Rights Watch colleague to Roraima to try to understand the state’s off-the-charts rate of killings of women. Taise’s life changed radically 11 years…
Veículo da Patrulha Maria da Penha em Roraima, Brasil
News
“Maria Laura, some women actually like to be beaten up,” a well-off businesswoman told me. And a well-educated male acquaintance said: “These are abusive relationships, women beat up their husbands and boyfriends and then they get beaten up themselves…
Women hold pictures of victims that died of domestic abuse against women, during a march to celebrate International Women's Day in Sao Paulo March 8, 2014.
Report
Summary Roraima is the deadliest state for women and girls in Brazil. Killings of women rose 139 percent from 2010 to 2015, reaching 11.4 homicides per 100,000 women that year, the latest for which there is data available. The national average is 4.4…
Video
The authorities in the Brazilian state of Roraima are failing to investigate or prosecute domestic violence cases, leaving women at further risk of abuse. The serious problems in Roraima, the state with the highest rate of killings of women in Brazil,…
News

State of Roraima Fails to Investigate, Prosecute Abusers

(São Paulo) – The authorities in the Brazilian state of Roraima are failing to investigate or prosecute domestic violence cases, leaving women at further risk of abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The serious problems in Roraima,…
Marchers hold pictures of women killed violently to mark International Women's Day in São Paulo on March 8, 2014.
News
Sixteen days of global activism against gender-based violence ends today, on Human Rights Day. The confluence is no coincidence. It is intended to emphasize that women’s rights are human rights. That may sound obvious now, but it has not always been so.…
"Rita", a woman victim of domestic violence, holding a protective order issued by a judge in Pernambuco. October 2016.
News
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.
News

Kerry Should Press to Free Activists, Let Independent Groups Operate

(Washington, DC) – United States Secretary of State John Kerry should publicly express concern over Central Asian governments’ distinctly poor human rights records during his Central Asia visits, beginning October 31, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today…
2015-10-eca-john-kerry-vienna
News
Congress, or at least parts of it, is getting restless with the White House approach to human rights abuses in Central Asia. A recent hearing by the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the region’s terrible human rights record…
News
“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…