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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.
News

Ensure Transparency, End Institutional Care

Serbia has taken a positive step to better protect people from Covid-19 by agreeing to release data on the total number of Covid-19 infections and deaths inside social care institutions. People inside institutions are some of the most at-risk during…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
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UN Committee Finds New Evidence of Violence in Institutions

A recent review of Serbia finds that the government is failing to protect women with disabilities in institutions from violence. In its report, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) also…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
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Many People With Psychosocial Disabilities Remain Shackled

On my Twitter feed last week, I saw many images of Ghanaians celebrating Independence Day: people dressed in their finest, cheering and waving flags, marching bands playing, ordinary Ghanaians dancing in the streets. But I had trouble…
Men sitting on beds and on the floor in a crowded room
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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.
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With great sadness we share the news that Medi Ssengooba, a dear friend, partner, and colleague at Human Rights Watch, passed away last week after a short illness. Medi was a strong advocate, a sharp lawyer, and a kind and…
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Government Vows to Unshackle People With Psychosocial Disabilities

When I picked up the chain that had been tied around his ankle I could barely lift it. It felt like a pile of bricks and made a heavy thumping sound when I dropped it to the ground. It was here, at Nyakumasi Prayer Camp in central Ghana…
Asare was freed in June after having been shackled in this spot for nine and half years because of a mental health condition.
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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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News

Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
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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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  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…
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Imagine being dragged against your will to a room where you can hear women screaming. You aren’t told what is happening to you. You are held down in a chair, given an injection, have cotton stuffed in your mouth, then given a jolt of electricity through a…