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Opportunity for Expanding Access to Justice for People with Disabilities

A recent judgment by India’s Supreme Court is a watershed moment for women with disabilities in India and worldwide. The case involved a 19-year-old blind woman who was raped by her brother’s friend. The court in its April judgment, rendered by…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
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Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
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Provide Roadmaps for Reform Ahead of Elections

(New York) – Candidates and political parties contesting India’s parliamentary elections, slated for April and May 2019, should commit to strengthening human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter. Human Rights Watch…
Government officers distribute postal ballot papers to a election presiding officer ahead of the country's general elections in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
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Some Survivors of Sexual Violence Spend Years Awaiting Compensation

Good things happen to those who wait – or so the saying goes. However, women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence in India can spend years waiting for justice. In 2014, 13-year-old “Razia,” who lives in a…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
Report
Summary The police asked me very nasty things like how it felt for me. I told them I was totally unconscious, so how would I know? The police said things like, ‘She’s mental, why should I pay attention to her?’  —Susmita, 26, a…
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Reforms on Sexual Violence Not Implemented for ‘Invisible Victims’

(New Delhi) – Women and girls with disabilities in India who survive sexual violence face high barriers to access the justice system, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Five years ago, the government adopted significant…
When she was 13, Razia (not her real name), who has an intellectual disability and difficulties in speaking, was raped by her brother’s tutor in 2014.
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This is a guide for people with disabilities. In India, if you experience sexual abuse (bad touch) or rape, the police, hospital, and courts are supposed to help you. These are your rights. It is wrong for someone to touch you when you don’t want them to…
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Women and girls with disabilities in India who survive sexual violence face high barriers to access the justice system, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Five years ago, the government adopted significant legal reforms for sexual violence…
Report
Summary This is what I have to say about the wounds on the body of the said accused. Since he was a hard core criminal, he refused to give any information. It was essential to get that information from him, that’s why [the police] used the “truth…
News

Recognize Rights of Women Forced Into Mental Health Centers in India

Around the world, simply being a woman means you’re more likely to be discriminated against and to experience violence than men. But women with disabilities are even more susceptible to abuse. Through December 10, activists worldwide are uniting to raise…
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“I used to be tied up at home with a plastic rope,” Rafi, a 29-year-old man with a mental health condition living on the outskirts of Jakarta, told me. “I had to go to the toilet on the spot, in the drain in the room. My heart broke when they chained me…
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A week ago, I went back to Sarajevo, my hometown in Bosnia and Herzegovina. My 6-year-old cousin asked me where I had been. I told her I was in Serbia to visit orphanages and institutions where children with disabilities live. “What is a disability?” she…
Children with disabilities housed in their cots/dormitories in an institution in Serbia.
News
  Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ (“the Committee”) for its Day of General Discussion on the right to education for persons with disabilities. Human Rights Watch…
News
“Ten male and female cops surrounded me. They started kicking me against my shin with their boots, laughing as they pushed me into the police van,” Deepali, a 45-year-old mother of four, told me in Delhi. The police did not tell her why she was being…
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Women and girls with disabilities in India are forced into mental hospitals and institutions, where they face unsanitary conditions, physical and sexual violence, and involuntary treatment, including electroshock therapy without consent. As one woman put…
News
In India, many women and girls with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are locked up in institutions against their will. Some of the institutions for those women, who have disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy to schizophrenia…