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Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
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.
Video
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…
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.
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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.
News
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.
News
In recent days, and repeatedly for the past few years, mobs of men have violently attacked women and girls taking part in demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo. This time the attacks took place during celebrations of the election and inauguration of…
News
In recent days, and repeatedly for the past few years, mobs of men violently attacked women and girls taking part in demonstrations in Tahrir Square.  This time the attacks took place during June 3-8 celebrations of the election and inauguration of…
News

Committee Assessment Should Lead to Reforms

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should act quickly to combat all forms of violence and harassment against women, Human Rights Watch said today. After a spate of sexual assaults during post-election celebrations, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told the…
News
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…
News

At Least 91 Attacks in 4 Days; Government Neglect Means Impunity Rules

(New York) – Egyptian officials and political leaders across the spectrum should condemn and take immediate steps to address the horrific levels of sexual violence against women in Tahrir Square. Egyptian anti-sexual harassment groups confirmed that mobs…
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…
News

Impunity Reigns: No Justice, Police Reform One Year Later

(New York) – Families of the 45 protesters killed and the hundreds injured when police responded to protests over military rule with excessive force and brutality from November 19 through 24, 2011, are still waiting for justice a year later, Human Rights…
News

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…
Report

 
 Rights Out of Reach 
 Obstacles to Health, Justice, and Protection for Displaced
 Victims of Gender-Based Violence in Colombia
 Summary
 Obstacles to
 Medical Attention
 Obstacles to
 Justice…
News

As Women Flee Violence in Rural Areas, Cities Offer No Safe Haven

I sat down with Mercedes on a sleepy afternoon in Medellin, Colombia. She was nervous. I was exhausted. Mercedes was my 60th interview with women and girls in Colombia – all of whom survived sexual or family violence, and all of whom had fled their close-…