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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Polish Authorities Should Allow Access to Territory and Asylum Process

While Poland’s government touts its role in the airlift of at-risk Afghans from Kabul, it has trapped 32 Afghans for over 3 weeks at its border with Belarus, preventing them from entering Poland to exercise their right to seek asylum and denying them…
Polish security forces surround migrants at the border with Belarus in Usnarz Gorny, Poland on September 1, 2021. 
News

Dodging Responsibility with Hostile Rhetoric and Harmful Policies

Instead of showing leadership and compassion for people fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan, European Union leaders seem bent on a monstrous PR campaign to tell Afghans (and European voters) that those fleeing Afghanistan should not even think about…
Polish soldiers build a fence with concertina wire at the border with Belarus in Krynki, Poland, on August 27, 2021.
Report
Summary The international reconstruction effort in Afghanistan after 2001 created an opportunity to advance human rights, and women’s and girls’ rights in particular. Although its achievements have fallen short of what was envisioned, significant…
News

NATO Members, Australia Should Expedite Relocation of Local Staff

(Washington, DC) – Countries with troops departing Afghanistan should accelerate programs to resettle former Afghan interpreters and other employees who are increasingly at risk from Taliban forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The planned…
Former Afghan interpreters hold placards during a protest against the U.S. government and NATO in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 30, 2021.
Report
Summary Since December 2020, the Bangladesh government has moved nearly 20,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char, a remote silt island in the Bay of Bengal. With the approaching monsoon season, refugees and humanitarian workers alike fear that…
News

International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
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News

Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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Report
Summary On April 7, 2016, soon after the end of evening prayers, Sadia, 27, heard her husband calling her to come down to the street. As she got to the door, however, he stood flanked by two men, blocking the exit. On her husband’s order, his…
Video
(নিউ ইয়র্ক) - বাংলাদেশের নারী ও মেয়েরা কোভিড -১৯ মহামারী চলাকালীন সময়ে বেশি মাত্রায় পারিবারিক সহিংসতার মুখোমুখি হচ্ছে, যা আইনী ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণ, সুরক্ষা এবং সামাজিক সেবার ক্ষেত্রে দীর্ঘমেয়াদী পদ্ধতিগত বাধাগুলিকে দৃষ্টিগোচর করছে, হিউম্যান রাইটস ওয়াচ আজ…
Video
(New York, October 29, 2020) – Women and girls in Bangladesh are facing increased domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting long-term systemic barriers to legal recourse, protection, and social services, Human Rights Watch said in a…
News

The Government Should Institute Real Reforms, Provide Services, Remove Barriers to Justice

The Bangladesh government has approved new measures to use the death penalty as punishment for rape, after widespread protests in response to several recent gang rape cases. It’s a bad decision, not only because capital punishment is inherently…
Students protest against an alleged gang-rape and brutal torture of a woman in the southern district of Noakhali, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 8, 2020. 
News

Government Should Respond with Overdue Reforms

(New York) – Protests in Bangladesh erupted this week after a video of a group of men attacking, stripping, and sexually assaulting a woman went viral, Human Rights Watch said today. Protesters called for the resignation of Home Minister Asaduzzaman…
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News

Authorities Prepare to Relocate Thousands to Dangerous Island

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities beat refugees protesting their detention on Bhasan Char Island with sticks and tree branches, Human Rights Watch said today. Naval officers allegedly beat the refugees, including children, in retribution for their…
A man walks past buildings on Bhasan Char, or floating island, in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh on December 19, 2019.
News

Refugee Camp Restrictions Threaten ‘Critical Services’

(Bangkok) – The Bangladesh government’s new Covid-19 restrictions on access to aid put Rohingya refugees at greater risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The lockdown measures cut humanitarian workers in refugee camps by 80 percent and put the…
Rohingya refugees place empty jars in a line while waiting to collect water in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on April, 20, 2020.
News

Allow Ashore Hundreds at Risk of Starvation, Provide Health Care

(Bangkok) – The Bangladesh government should immediately allow hundreds of Rohingya refugees stranded in two trawlers in the Bay of Bengal to come ashore and receive necessary food, water, and health care, Human Rights Watch said today. The United…
Rohingya refugees gather after being rescued in Teknaf near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, April 16, 2020.
News

Authorities Should Ensure Safety of All Refugees

Taher, a Rohingya Christian pastor, and his 14-year-old daughter were abducted from their shelter in a refugee camp in Bangladesh on the morning of January 27. The previous night scores of men attacked 22 Christian families living in…
Rohingya refugees walk inside Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh January 8, 2018.
News

Bangladesh Allows Kids to Receive Formal Education

Bangladesh will allow 10,000 ethnic Rohingya refugee children to get a formal school curriculum for the first time after the government approved a “pilot” education program. It’s a step in the right direction, but also an urgent reminder of how…
Rohingya refugee students demonstrate
Report
Summary “States and relevant stakeholders will contribute resources and expertise to expand and enhance the quality and inclusiveness of national education systems to facilitate access by refugee[s] … and special efforts will be mobilized to…
News

Fencing, Internet Cutoff Restricts Rohingya Freedom of Movement, Information

Bangladesh Army Chief Gen. Aziz Ahmed said this week that a plan to surround the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar with barbed wire fences and guard towers was “in full swing.” The plan is the latest in a series of policies…
A refugee camp for Rohingya in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, August 21, 2019.