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Women’s Autonomy Should Be at Center of Abortion Regulation

(Washington, DC, September 14, 2021) – Mexico's Supreme Court has issued two rulings that set important precedents for reproductive justice not only for Mexico but for the Americas, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 7, 2021, the Supreme…
A woman holds up a banner that reads "My body, I decide" during a rally to celebrate the decision of the Mexican Supreme Court that found the total criminalization of abortion to be unconstitutional, in Saltillo, Mexico September 7, 2021.
Report
Summary In 2017, Sara, at age 38 with two children, thought she was too old to get pregnant again. When she started to bleed heavily, she went to a public hospital in Quito. A doctor diagnosed a urinary-tract infection and recorded…
News

Greatest Harm for Indigenous, Afro-Descendent People Living in Poverty

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s laws criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer Again?’…
Feminist activists and pro-choice groups witness a debate at Ecuador’s National Assembly on Criminal Code reform, in which there was a possibility that legislators would approve the decriminalization of abortion in cases involving rape, in Quito, Ecuador, on January 3, 2019.
News

Delivered by Steve Goose, Executive Director

The record of compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty by States Parties is praiseworthy, particularly with respect to the comprehensive bans on use, production, and trade. But, there are serious compliance concerns, as States Parties recognized at the 2019…
A mine field in Sri Lanka is marked with Danger! Mines! signs and caution tape.
News

Bring to Justice Those Responsible for Killing 10 Deminers

The United Nations, governments, and humanitarian groups working to eradicate landmines and explosive remnants of war are condemning the reprehensible killing of 10 Halo Trust deminers and wounding of 16 others in Afghanistan on Tuesday. As a co-…
Clearance operator from the Halo Trust clearing a steep, rocky hillside in Afghanistan.
News

Lawmakers Should Enact Proposed Criminal Code Reform

(Washington, DC) – The Congress of the Dominican Republic should adopt a proposal to decriminalize abortion in three circumstances as a matter of urgency, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s total abortion ban, in effect since 1884, threatens…
An abortion rights activist holds a plastic medallion reading "For the #3Causales (#3LegalGrounds), Life, Health and Dignity" during a protest to urge parliament to approve a proposed reform to the penal code that could end the total ban on abortion, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic March 18, 2021. 
News

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.
News

Secretary of State Blinken Recognizes Human Rights as Co-Equal and Interdependent

Today, the US State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights. While this year’s edition once again lacks reporting on key reproductive rights around the world, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that addendums will be…
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department in Washington, standing in front of a world map and a US flag.
News

New Federal Bill Focuses on Women of Color

Cervical cancer is a disease no one should die from. It’s highly preventable and treatable, and if caught early, the five-year survival rate is over 90 percent. Unfortunately, over 4,000 women in the United States die from the disease each year, and…
Ms. Frances Ford, executive director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, in her home in August 2018, holding a picture of her mother, who died from cervical cancer after being diagnosed in 1980.
News

UN Report Shows Transfers of Banned Landmines in Conflict

Buried in a new report by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya comes disturbing news about recent transfers of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines. The report shows that antipersonnel mines manufactured in Russia were likely brought…
PMN-2 blast mines recovered from Tripoli, Libya, December 2020. 
News
Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
Report
Summary When “Elena” (not her real name) discovered she was pregnant at age 16, she carefully considered her options and decided she was not ready to parent. She knew she wanted an abortion, but she wasn’t able to discuss her decision with her mother…
News

Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
News

Law Violates Young People’s Human Rights, Can Delay Their Care

(Chicago) – An Illinois law that requires a young person seeking an abortion to involve an adult family member is dangerous for youth in the state, violates their human rights, and threatens their health and safety, Human Rights Watch and the American…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
News

Significant Discrimination Against Women, Girls in Law and Practice

(Beirut) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made important women’s rights reforms in recent years, such as passing new domestic violence protections, but significant discrimination against women and girls remains, Human Rights Watch said today. Laws…
A foreign domestic worker with a child under a billboard in the United Arab Emirates.
News

European Commission Should Hold Government Accountable for Violating Fundamental Rights

The message was clear at this week’s European Parliament hearing on Poland’s near-ban on abortion: the European Commission should act decisively to protect the lives and rights of women and girls and stop erosion of the values on which the European…
Women's rights activists, holding posters of the Women's Strike action, protest further tightening of Poland's restrictive abortion law in front of the parliament building in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.