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Over 10 million children are out of school in Nigeria and the global pandemic has only made it harder for young people to stay in school. There have been dire consequences for girls, who are at risk of being married off. In a recent report,…
A woman protests against child marriage in Lagos, Nigeria.
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Water mixed with salt was dinner for Umar Abubaker and his family of eight, including three young children, for many nights during Nigeria’s five-week lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Before the lockdown, Abubakar, who has a physical…
A man reading the newspaper "The Nation"
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The region’s police and security forces need urgent reform. Otherwise, we are likely to continue seeing serious abuses against protesters

Years of frustrated expectations and dissatisfaction with governments’ social policies boiled over in many Latin American countries in 2019, leading to massive protests. This year, the measures taken in response to the pandemic have forced people to…
Police surround a protester in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.
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Over three years ago, the Chilean government sent a bill to Congress to uphold same-sex marriage. The bill has not moved forward. Instead, Chile has been taking steps backward. Take the June decision by the Constitutional Court, denying a request…
People take part in the annual Pride parade in support of the LGBT community, in Santiago, Chile, on June 22, 2019.
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When Akanni’s mother died in early 2018, she stopped eating for three weeks. Her mood became unpredictable; she was often shouting or sulking angrily. Medicine from a local pharmacist didn’t help. At a loss for what to do to handle the trauma, Akanni’s…
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For years, international media have been full of horrifying stories of Nigerian women and girls trafficked to Libya and Europe for sexual and labor exploitation. The world now also knows very well that many refugees and migrants seeking…
A Nigerian woman sits in a center in Benin City.
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This article was published in five newspapers in Latin America. Leaders in the Americas have often been confronted in recent years with hard questions about accountability and prisoners’ rights. Should people imprisoned for…
Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori listens to the judge's verdict about his sentence in prison, in Lima October 29, 2013.
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Farmer-Herder Conflicts on the Rise in Africa Violent clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in June reminded me of a smelting hot afternoon a year ago.  I was sitting in my living room watching a herder grazing his…
Internally displaced villagers herd livestock in Turkana county, Kenya.
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  In January, a colleague of mine at Human Rights Watch predicted that 2018 would be the “year of the courts” for LGBT people’s rights. Seven months into the year, courts around the world have indeed come down with important rulings that…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
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Last month, the government of President Sebastián Piñera of Chile issued rules that could seriously undermine access to legal abortion in the country. The rules issued by the Health Ministry, which modify the ones issued under former President…
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In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
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Last month, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile introduced a bill in Congress that appears to be a reaction to the recent release, in Peru, of the former autocratic President Alberto Fujimori. The proposal limits the early release of people convicted of…
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At first glance, 2017 seems to have been a good year for marriage equality the world over. But the year ends on a negative note. Let’s start in Europe. In Germany and Malta, two European Union member states, legislation came…
Same-sex couple get married at a registry office in Germany.
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"Go back and die in Nigeria.” The words still echo in the soft-spoken young man’s mind as he recalls the parting words of a Cameroonian soldier as he pushed a group of 40 Nigerians across the border. Then the young man, whom I will call “…
The congested Ngala camp for internally displaced persons in Borno State, northeast Nigeria, where a Boko Haram attack in early September killed at least seven people, April 2017.
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Lagos — As I waited at Nigeria's Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos, watching bags of various colors and shapes tumble onto the carousel, I cast a glance around the airport. It always feels good to be back in the city that was my home for over 20 years.…