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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
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Last July, I spoke with Sky H., a 20-year–old who identifies as non-binary and grew up in a very conservative rural town in the Black Belt region of Alabama. In school, Sky received abstinence-only…
Desks in an empty classroom
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When Abba M. learned that a sexual partner had exposed her to the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, she did “a bunch of Googling.” The 21-year-old Alabama resident knew very little about it. Turning to her friends proved…
A billboard by the Alabama Department of Public Health in Eutaw, Greene County, raises awareness of recommended adolescent vaccines, including the HPV vaccine.
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What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
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In late 2018, Sierra Leone's First Lady, Fatima Bio, opened a national campaign "Hands Off Our Girls."   Her campaign made big promises to reduce child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country, in part to tackle the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
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Honorable Cristina Pardo Schlesinger Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia Rapporteur of Case T-6.612.909   Case: T-6.612.909 Subject: Human Rights Watch amicus curiae brief …
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Susana, 25, was breastfeeding when she became pregnant with a second child in Recife. It was unplanned. Her son was born with microcephaly–a condition in which the infant’s head is smaller than expected.   She was among the nearly 100…
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Clara is a community health worker’s dream client—she has absorbed all the training offered on preventing mosquito breeding in her home and implements it to perfection. I spoke to her last October in a favela in downtown Recife. She described how she…
Mother holding her child in Brazil.
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2014 Recipient of the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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On June 4, Justice Minister Peter MacKay tabled an anti-prostitution bill that he claimed was not anti-prostitute. According to the minister, the target of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Person Act, Bill C-36, was “the perpetrators, the…
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A pregnant woman in Uganda who needs an emergency C-section in a small rural hospital. A man carried into a field hospital in Haiti, his legs crushed by a collapsing building in the earthquake. A girl hit by shrapnel in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s…
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By Angela Chung When Abdoulaye’s mother left his hospital bedside to pick up medicine from the pharmacy, I helped fan him. Temperatures in Senegal reach the 90s in November, and the air in the ward for children with advanced cancer hung hot and…
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As we approach LGBT Pride weekend, it is worth noting that San Francisco's leadership in fighting the HIV epidemic is alive and well. Under a new policy, San Francisco law enforcement no longer will use condoms as evidence of misdemeanor prostitution…
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On June 26, the world commemorates the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In Tanzania, however, such commemorations are likely to be muted. Tanzania is among a small minority of countries that have not signed or ratified the Convention…
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“I am in pain 24 hours a day”, Mamadou* told a Human Rights Watch researcher. “The pain I have all over my body…it is in my bones.” Mamadou, a 47-year-old man from rural Senegal, has advanced prostate cancer that has spread throughout his body…
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“People look at disabled people and think they don’t have sex. We have sex. And we can be infected with HIV.” John Meletse is a deaf, gay, and HIV-positive South African. When he went to get tested for HIV in 2001, the clinic staff couldn’t communicate in…