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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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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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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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In late February of this year, Russia’s criminal investigative agency announced that it had referred to a court an investigation into criminal negligence by two police officers that happened on January 14, 2020 in the Siberian city of…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
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As Joe Biden settles into his presidency, in addition to facing a pandemic and economic crisis, he will hear demands for accountability. If President Biden is going to help restore a robust commitment to the rule of law, he will need to reach…
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Lawmakers Have Opportunity to Strengthen Flawed Law

Ainagul from Aktobe, Gulnara from Kostanai, Arailym from Almaty, and Madina from Karaganda: these women from cities across Kazakhstan share a painful connection. They are all survivors of domestic violence at the hands of their abusive partners or…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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Another Women’s Rights Group Could Be Labeled a “Foreign Agent”

In Russia, working to prevent and combat domestic violence can be considered a “political activity.” And that means risking state harassment and intimidation. The authorities are now targeting Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that…
The staff of Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that provides assistance to domestic violence survivors.  
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As Outrage Against Abuses Grows, Fix Bill’s Major Gaps and Pass It

(Beirut) – Iran should address gaps in its long-awaited draft law on violence against women that offers limited protections for survivors of domestic violence, and put it before the parliament for a vote, Human Rights Watch said today. Over the…
Iranian women wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus walk at the Grand Bazaar in Tehran on February 20, 2020.
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As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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UN Review Should Focus on Increased Protection Against Violence, Bias

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities are falling short of their international legal obligations to protect women and girls from violence and end discrimination against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has submitted a report to the…
Women shout slogans and wave the Lebanese flag during a demonstration in down town Beirut.
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Enforce Policies, Provide Services, End Barriers and Corruption in Justice System

(New York) – Women and girls in Bangladesh are facing increased domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting long-term systemic barriers to legal recourse, protection, and social services, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
A crowd of women holding candles
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Self-Defence Against Domestic Violence Should Count at Trial

Gulzhan Pasanova could spend 10 years in prison because in defending herself from her abusive husband, he died. On October 22, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan will consider her case on appeal. In November 2019, Pasanova’s husband, accusing her of…
Cartoon about Domestic Violence by Tatiana Zelenskaya
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Government Should Implement Legislation, Address Gaps in Protection for Victims

This month, after years of activism, Kuwaiti women’s rights activists won a new law establishing protections against domestic violence. The need for this law was underscored on September 9 when Fatima al-Ajmi, aged 35 and pregnant, was shot repeatedly…
The Kuwait city skyline is seen through the haze of a sand storm in Shuwaikh, Kuwait City.