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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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China has a bride trafficking problem. The country’s longstanding one-child policy and preference for boys created a huge gender imbalance. The difficulty many Chinese men now face finding wives, combined with a lack of protections in China, is…
“I do not know exactly or remember how I got into the new house…When I woke up, I saw a man but not my friends anymore. I don’t know exactly, but later I guessed that was a Chinese house. I did not know where to run away…I realized that I was trafficked.
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Nang Seng Ja was just 19 and living in Myanmar’s northern Kachin State when her aunt invited her on a trip to see her three cousins who live in China. About a month into the visit, Nang Seng Ja fainted. She awakened in a strange house surrounded…
“Then the Chinese man said, ‘If you do not marry a man, the money we spent on you to bring you here…was 3000 Yuan and as you have already stayed here for 10 days, 4000 Yuan [US$637] is needed to give me back now. Right now, count the money to give me.
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Report on the Situation of Women and Girls from Northern Rakhine State

After the Myanmar military launched its campaign of ethnic cleansing in August 2017, Human Rights Watch researchers spoke with Rohingya women and girls from 19 villages in Rakhine State who had been raped by security forces. We witnessed their deep pain,…
A Rohingya Muslim woman walks at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on February 4, 2017.
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Testimony of Skye Wheeler at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Co-Chairmen Representatives McGovern and Hultgren and members of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing on human rights and the use of sexual violence by the Burmese military against ethnic minorities in Burma. …
A Rohingya survivor of rape in Teknaf, Bangladesh, June 25, 2018.
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Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights on the Situation of Women and Girls from Northern Rakhine State

Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights welcome the opportunity to provide joint input into the November 2017 request by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) for an exceptional report from the Myanmar…
Rohingya refugees arrive at night from Myanmar to Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 27, 2017.
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Over the last nine months some 700,000 ethnic Rohingya in Burma have been driven from their homes across the border into Bangladesh by the Burmese military. The attacks have been described by the UN as “a textbook case of ethnic…
Rohingya refugees cross the Naf River with an improvised raft to reach to Bangladesh in Teknaf, Bangladesh, November 12, 2017. Picture taken November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain TO FIND ALL PICTURES SEARCH REUTERS PULITZER
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To call Yasmina, age 15, a survivor is an understatement. Burmese soldiers shot and slashed   her family members to death as they fled their village in late August. Yasmina (name changed) managed to escape and swim across a river to the…
Rohingya women refugees who crossed the Naf River from Burma into Bangladesh continue inland toward refugee camps.
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COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh – In Bangladesh’s overflowing and squalid camps for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing the Burmese army’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, I met three remarkable women who told me their stories of horror and survival in the…
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In late December, two young women fled Burma's Rakhine State for Bangladesh, making a gruelling journey by foot, a smuggler's rickety boat, and rickshaw into an uncertain future. The women, from Burma's long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority, had fled…
A Rohingya Muslim woman walks at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on February 4, 2017.
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The Crucial Role of Women in Burma’s Peace Talks

“Women’s role is to ease tensions,” a public relations expert of an ethnic armed group told me as I sat in his office in northern Burma (also called Myanmar). He and his male colleagues were trying to explain why women could not be part of cease-fire…
Residents of Ngot Ngar village, Kutkai township, Shan State, in front of their homes, which have come under attack from the Burmese military.
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Women’s Participation in Burma’s Peace Negotiations and Political Transition

In theory, we can do it [increase women’s participation in the peace talks]. But in practice it’s difficult. So, we made a “gentleman’s agreement” to wait until later. —Ethnic Armed Organization representative,…
Members of parliament attend a meeting at Burma’s lower house in the capital, Naypyitaw, March 2016.
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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
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MUMBAI –-Nationalist Buddhist monk U Wirathu says his dream is to see Myanmar adopt a law that restricts Buddhist women’s ability to marry non-Buddhist men. His dream could come true if the National Democratic Front party follows through with its plan to…
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I have spent more than a decade documenting the use of child soldiers in Myanmar, and have interviewed boys who were only 11 when they were forced to join the army. Initially, Myanmar's government flatly denied any use of children by its army, despite…
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This month, hundreds of ethnic Arakanese Buddhist protesters marched through the streets of Sittwe calling on authorities to enforce a two-child limit on Rohingya Muslims—that is, to demand a discriminatory population control regulation that restricts…
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Accepted under the "Addressing Inequalities" Global Thematic Consultation - Call for Proposals for Background Papers, 2012

Human Rights Watch is actively reporting on this topic and an updated version of this article can be found here: Breaking the Poverty Trap - Why Poverty and Inequality are Human Rights Issues To learn about Human Rights Watch’s continuing work on…