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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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Women Athletes Undergoing Invasive Medical Procedures without Consent

After training for hours on end, year after year, some women athletes – particularly those competing on the world stage – are getting their careers and successes ripped away because of “sex testing,” practices, which are invasive and medically unnecessary…
A woman holds a photo of a group of female runners competing
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Discrimination Follows them from Home to the US Border

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, sometimes called the Northern Triangle, often face violence and discrimination from their families, gangs, and even the police. When they try to seek asylum…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Men, Transgender Women Particularly Vulnerable, Lacking Services

During Syria’s civil war, many people have been subjected to sexual violence, resulting in ongoing trauma. Many of these victims are men and they have described how such violence gets worse if they are considered gay, or “soft” as the local term…
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Fumino Sugiyama is a father, a business owner, a trans rights activist, and the director of Tokyo Pride. But before all that, he was an international athlete and a member of Japan’s women’s fencing team.  This summer, Japan was supposed to be…
Fumino Sugiyama, a transgender man, holds his Japanese ID card, which reads “female,” at his home in Tokyo.
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Brunei’s Syariah Penal Code (2013) went into effect on April 3, 2019.[1] The new code poses grave threats to fundamental human rights and discriminates against the country’s most vulnerable groups, including children, women, and religious and sexual…
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A Regressive Law is Forcing Some Transgender People to be Sterilized

What is life like for transgender people in Japan? In Japan, the struggles for transgender people are largely invisible. Especially how hard it is to become legally recognized. In general, most people don’t know that Japanese law requires trans…
Fumino Sugiyama, a transgender man, holds his Japanese ID card, which reads “female,” at his home in Tokyo.
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Aren’t these laws just designed to protect religious freedom in the US? Religious freedom is an important value, but these laws don’t respond to any real-world threat to religious freedom and are more about legitimizing discrimination. The…
Demonstrators protest during oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorodo Civil Rights Commission case at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2017.
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Transgender Men Face Threats and Widespread Discrimination

In October 2017 Human Rights Watch interviewed six transgender men living in different parts of Bangladesh. All of them spoke of bullying at school, barriers to employment, difficulty accessing health care, as well as harassment and verbal abuse in both…
Marchers at an LGBT rights rally in Dhaka during Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New  Year) in 2015.
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What are some of the misconceptions around being born intersex? Unfortunately, in our society we’re still at a point where most people don’t know the basic facts about being intersex. People think it is very rare, but really, up to two percent of the…
A poster by intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis
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Indonesia is in the midst of a government-incited meltdown about LGBT rights. In January, the country’s high education minister said he wanted to ban LGBT student groups from university campuses. Not long after, the defense minister said the LGBT movement…
A picture of an anti-LGBT demonstration.
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“Leave the island!” “Go home Dittrich!” “No homo!” Boris Dittrich, at the time a member of Dutch parliament, was looking out an open window of Aruba’s parliament building when a jeering mob chanting anti…
Boris Dittrich
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School bullying is notorious in Japan and has been for decades. For LGBT kids in particular, the harassment, threats, and even violence in schools can be unbearable. School policies don’t adequately protect these students. At best, teachers are confused…
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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October 2015 Introduction This memorandum, submitted to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (“the Committee”) ahead of its upcoming review of Azerbaijan, highlights areas of concern Human Rights Watch hopes will inform the…
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Overview of key human rights concerns in Central Asia October 2015 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan’s human rights record has seen an unequivocal and marked deterioration in the last five years, with the authorities launching an…
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16th UPR session, April - May 2013

Summary Starting in June 2012, the Russian government reversed small, positive steps taken since the previous UPR, which had slightly loosened excessive government control over civil society organizations and aimed to improve pluralism in the political…
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Progress and Challenges in State Response to HIV

Mississippi has one of the nation’s highest rates of HIV infection and deaths from AIDS. In March 2011, Human Rights Watch published Rights at Risk: State Response to HIV in Mississippi, which found the state’s response to HIV conflicted with human…
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Detentions, Torture, Killings, Military Trials Since Protests Began

(Washington, DC) - The Bahrain government, since March 2011, has been carrying out a punitive and vindictive campaign of violent repression against its own citizens, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today. "Bahrain's Human Rights…