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Failure to Meet Pledges on Accountability, Counterterrorism Reforms

(Geneva) – The Sri Lankan government has failed to fulfill its pledge to abolish the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. For decades, the PTA has been used to arbitrarily detain…
Sri Lankan police stand guard at a protest calling for the release of Tamil activists being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in Colombo, Sri Lanka, October 14, 2015.
Report
Summary My brother asked, “Can I have your identity? What is your force? Are you RAB, CID, DB?” They did not identify themselves. He asked several times. They did not wear any uniform and they had no legal arrest warrant. Nothing. They just said, “…
News

Draft Law Falls Far Short of Colombo’s Pledges to United Nations

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s latest counterterrorism bill falls far short of the government’s pledges to the United Nations Human Rights Council to end abusive detention without charge, Human Rights Watch said today. The Cabinet approved the…
Sri Lanka: Anti-Terror Bill Revives Concerns of Abuse PHOTO
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Show Leadership on Migrant Worker Protections during International Forum

(London) – Bangladesh should improve protection for its domestic workers migrating to the Middle East, Human Rights Watch said today. Bangladesh is hosting the Global Forum on Migration and Development on December 10-12, 2016, a meeting…
A migrant domestic worker watches over a child playing in the Magic Planet, City Centre Muscat, a shopping mall in Oman.
Report
Summary On the morning of February 28, 2013, the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party called a strike to protest the death penalty handed down against its leader, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, who had been convicted by Bangladesh’s International Crimes…
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Summary I have no hope of getting justice in this crooked system. —Umar Daraz, Karachi, January 2016 How do you expect us to recover stolen items from hardened criminals? Do you think they will agree if we say, ‘Be nice to us and return…
News

Carry Out Proper Investigations to Identify and Prosecute ‘Machete Attacks’

(New York) – The Bangladeshi authorities should investigate attacks on secular writers, gay rights activists, and religious minorities, and identify and prosecute the perpetrators, but should immediately stop arbitrarily arresting people without proper…
Police stand guard during a rally by activists demanding capital punishment for a group of bloggers in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 12, 2013.
News
Just yesterday, we sat down with activists from Haiti concerned about the impact that badly regulated mining could have on their communities’ already poor access to safe drinking water. Communities around the world face similar problems, and with more…
News
Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week recognized the enormity of the country’s problem of enforced disappearances with a simple directive: identify the bodies. On February 10, the Supreme Court asked federal and provincial governments to ensure that “…
News

2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
News
More than 1100 dead, many others coping with temporary or permanent disabilities, and people still missing. The 24 April 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse – Bangladesh’s worst ever industrial disaster – has left the country reeling and Bangladeshi rights…
News
Rizana Nafeek was a child herself -- 17 years old according to her birth certificate -- when a four-month-old baby died in her care in Saudi Arabia. She had migrated from Sri Lanka only weeks earlier to be a domestic worker for a Saudi family. Although…
News

Beheading May Be Imminent for Rizana Nafeek, Age 17 at Alleged Killing

UPDATE: On January 9, 2013, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced the execution of Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic worker convicted of killing a baby in her care in 2005 when she was 17 years old. Human Rights Watch strongly condemns the execution…
News

Further Labor Reforms Needed to Stop Abuses, Meet Global Standards

(New York) – The decision by Singapore’s Manpower Ministry to grant foreign domestic workers a weekly rest day is an important reform but falls short of international standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The changes, announced on March 5, 2012, go…
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“We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years” Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan Map of Balochistan Summary Key Recommendations Methodology      Background: Conflict and Abuses in…
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Summary Kuwaiti people treat domestic workers like members of the family. There is no difference between them and any member of the family. —Mohammed al-Kandari, undersecretary of social affairs and labor, Kuwait, November…
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Slow Reform Protection of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia and the Middle East Summary Key Recommendations to Governments of Labor-Receiving Countries To Labor Ministries and Parliaments To …
News

Key Reforms Stalled, Few Remedies for Slavery-Like Conditions

(Jakarta) - Saudi Arabia should implement labor, immigration, and criminal justice reforms to protect domestic workers from serious human rights abuses that in some cases amount to slavery, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Employers…