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As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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EU-Turkey Deal Traps People in Abuse and Denies Them Refuge

(Athens) – The EU-Turkey deal has trapped thousands of people in abysmal conditions on the Greek islands for the past year, while denying most access to asylum procedures and refugee protection, Human Rights Watch said today. This assessment of conditions…
Asylum seekers from Algeria at a refugee squat on Lesbos. People of certain nationalities presumptively considered “economic migrants,” such as Algerians, are treated as having manifestly unfounded claims, and are often detained on that basis.
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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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As world leaders gather for President Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on September 20, they should urgently address how to get the more than 3.5 million refugee children around the world who aren’t getting an education back in school.   All…
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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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General Recommendation on Access to Justice

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) for its General Recommendation on access to justice. Human Rights Watch has done extensive research on this…
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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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Bill Enhances Protection for Victims, Penalties for Perpetrators

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s parliament should adopt a strong, comprehensive law to curb domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament is debating a draft bill and is likely to vote on March 7, 2012. The draft law would replace Turkey’s existing…
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Tweet As told by Gauri van Gulik, researcher and advocate, Women's Rights Division Unlike some of the other women I spoke with, Hamiyet was not injected with poison, thrown from the roof or stabbed by her husband. But her story seemed just as desperate…
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Abolishing Women’s Ministry Harms Women’s Rights Efforts

(Istanbul) - The Turkish government's changes to the current Ministry for Women and Family is a step backward in its struggle to combat gender inequality and violence against women, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan…
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Follow Up With Domestic Reform and Effective Implementation

(New York) - Colombia is the 100th country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a symbolic step towards achieving universal respect for the rights of more than 670 million people with disabilities worldwide,…
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New European Convention Sets Out Stiff Measures to Fight Violence Against Women

(Istanbul) - European foreign affairs ministers gather this week in Istanbul to sign a ground-breaking new Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The treaty, open to all 47 countries of the…
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Gaps in Law, Police Response, Put Urgently Needed Help Out of Reach

(Istanbul) - Turkey's flawed family violence protection system leaves women and girls across the country unprotected against domestic abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Life-saving protections, including court-issued protection…
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  “He Loves You, He Beats You” Family Violence in Turkey and Access to Protection Selvi T. Summary Law on the Protection of the Family Excluded from Protection Lack of Implementation…