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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. 
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(Nairobi, September 21, 2021) – The Kenyan government’s response to gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic has been too little, too late, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 61-page report, “‘I Had Nowhere to Go’:…
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Lack of Protections Puts Women, Children at Risk

(Athens) – A law scheduled to take effect on September 16, 2021, that amends child custody provisions in Greece’s civil code places women and children survivors of domestic violence at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The Greek government should…
Protesters in Athens, Greece on March 27, 2021 stand outside the Greek Parliament displaying a banner that reads “your sexism is harming both mother and child” against a new law that introduces presumptive co-custody of children, even in cases of domestic violence.
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Open Consultation on Domestic Abuse Act statutory guidance

Comments on Chapter 2 (‘Understanding Domestic Abuse’)  We write to note concerns regarding Chapter 2 of the draft Statutory Guidance, particularly regarding response to Black, Asian, migrant and other women in marginalized groups who experience…
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Common Visions for a Killer Robots Treaty

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to advancing Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) discussions on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), also known as fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots.” Before the global lockdown, states…
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Shared Vision Forms Sound Basis for Creating a New Ban Treaty

Governments should move urgently to begin negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit and restrict autonomous weapons systems, known as “killer robots.” A small number of powerful countries that are developing autonomous weapons have been holding up…
A graphic piece by Brian Stauffer depicting an outstretched hand catching a rocket in its palm while shielding a mother and a young boy beneath it.
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Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
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Enforced Disappearances, Incommunicado Detention, Groundless Deportation

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities have forcibly disappeared at least four Pakistani men since October 2020 and deported at least six others without explanation, apparently based solely on their religious background, Human Rights Watch said…
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
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Humanitarian Organization Warns Weapons Threaten ‘Our Shared Humanity’

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on governments to ban fully autonomous weapons. ICRC President Peter Maurer said yesterday that he hopes the humanitarian organization’s public backing for new legally…
An ambulance covered in bullet holes
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Reject Proposed Legal Changes; Improve Protections for Abuse Victims

(Athens) – A bill to amend child custody provisions in Greece’s civil code disregards risks for domestic violence victims that would put women and children in jeopardy, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, "Reforms regarding parent-child…
Protest outside the Greek Parliament in Athens on March 27, 2021 against a bill that would introduce compulsory equal joint custody of children in cases of separation or divorce. 
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Investigate, Protect Rights Defenders, End Hateful Rhetoric

Update: Poland’s Ministry of the Interior responded to Human Rights Watch’s request for information and comment on our findings in a four-page letter dated April 8, 2021. The letter states that the government adheres to international law guaranteeing…
Protesters hold a banner of Strajk Kobiet (Women's Strike) during a protest in Warsaw on March 8,  International Women's Day, organized by the Women's Strike (Strajk Kobiet) against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the decision of the Constitutional Court.
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Discriminatory Restrictions Affect Independence to Marry, Study, Work, Travel

(Beirut, March 29, 2021) – Qatar’s discriminatory male guardianship system denies women the right to make many key decisions about their lives, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 94-page report, “‘Everything I Have to Do is…
Women fly a kite in a park next to a body of water
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Proposed New York City Law a Model for Regulation

Elected officials and local authorities across the United States and around the world should consider replicating an innovative legislative proposal that would prohibit police from arming robots used in their law enforcement operations. The bill,…
A black robot with four legs resembling a dog stands on a stage in front of a shite background.
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Stop Using Vague Law to Silence Criticism of Prime Minister

Displaying absolute intolerance for peaceful criticism, Bangladesh authorities have arrested hundreds of people, including journalists, for criticizing or satirizing the country’s ruling party and its leaders. Even children have not been spared for…
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meets with officials in Tokyo, May 29, 2019.
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Vienna Academic Faces Abusive ‘Terrorism’ Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should immediately release an anthropology master’s degree student at Central European University (CEU), or present evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested the student,…
Ahmed Samir Santawy, an anthropology master’s student at Central European University (CEU) detained in February 2021.
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Briefing on the Need for Urgent Amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill November 2, 2020

Human Rights Watch Submission to the House of the Lords Briefing on the Need for Urgent Amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill November 2, 2020 Introduction: Human Rights Watch is pleased that the government of the United Kingdom has…
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Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours as prevention measures due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020