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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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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.
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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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In July, 2012, Lydia N. (not her real name) sat in a hotel room not far from Highway 16 – the “Highway of Tears” in northern British Columbia where so many indigenous women and girls have been murdered or disappeared – and told me about her efforts to…
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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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Ignores Need for National Inquiry into Violence

(Toronto) – A landmark Canadian parliamentary report released on March 7, 2014, failed to recommend needed steps to stem violence against indigenous women, Human Rights Watch said today. The committee did not recommend either an independent national…
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“They tore my sweater and jeans off in the holding cell. There were three or four of them – men – a female guard was watching,” Joy I. told me. “I tried to sit up and they pepper sprayed me twice. They kept pushing me down and tearing my clothes off.” Joy…
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Set National Inquiry, Investigate Police Misconduct

(Ottawa) – The Canadian government should set up an independent national inquiry into the violence experienced by indigenous women and girls and create a system for greater accountability for police misconduct, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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“I feel like a citizen,”said Valerie Scott, a former sex worker, after the Ontario Court of Appeals ruled last year that Canadian laws criminalizing aspects of sex work put sex workers at greater risk of violence and harm. Sexually marginalized people…
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Inter-American Commission Visit Underscores Need for National Attention

(Toronto) – The visit to Canada on the week of August 5, 2013, by representatives of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is a major step toward accountability for the murders and disappearances of indigenous women in British Columbia, Human…
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Opportunity for Action to End Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls

(Toronto) – The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted today the report on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Canada’s human rights record, which included a large set of questions, recommendations, and comments from countries across the world…
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Independent Accountability Mechanisms for Police Misconduct Sorely Needed

(Prince George) – Reported comments by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Bob Paulson show the need for an independent civilian mechanism to investigate police abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. In an email late last week discussing…
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Ensure Accountability for Police Misconduct, Indigenous Women’s Safety

(Vancouver) – Comments by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RMCP) on February 14, 2013, fail to address the core issue of a lack of security that prevents indigenous women and girls from filing complaints of police abuse…