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European Court Upholds Ban on Face Coverings

The European Court of Human Rights has struck another blow to women’s autonomy, ruling in favor of bans on full-face veils enacted in 2011 in Belgium. Echoing a 2014 ruling in S.A.S v. France, the court cited the vague idea…
Salma, a 22-year-old French national living in Belgium who chooses to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, gives an interview to Reuters television outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels in this April 26, 2010 file photo.
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‘She Decides’ Summit to Counter Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’

(Brussels) – Governments should pledge political and financial support for sexual and reproductive health to counter the United States’ “Global Gag Rule,” Human Rights Watch said today. The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden are hosting a summit in…
Women and girls wait with their children outside a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal.
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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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Summary “I sometimes felt as if the law was against me. All went wrong [for me], while he got away with everything,” Ngalla A. sighed, while sipping her coffee in a Belgian cafe.…
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Legal Loopholes, Inadequate Shelter Access Send Women Back to Abusers

(Brussels) – The risk of deportation prevents many migrant women who experience domestic violence in Belgium from getting the protection they need, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report was released in advance of Women’s Day in…
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Parliament Should Reject Bill for Nationwide Restrictions

(Brussels, April 21, 2010) - The Belgian Parliament should vote down a bill that would criminalize wearing the full Muslim veil in all public places in Belgium, Human Rights Watch said today. The lower chamber of Parliament is expected to debate the bill…
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The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
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Council of Europe Rejects Minimum Standards for Diplomatic Assurances

A Council of Europe expert group has rightly decided not to develop guidelines for the acceptable use of diplomatic assurances to justify sending people to places where they are at risk of torture, Human Rights Watch said today. “We welcome this decision…