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A lawsuit brought by a lesbian in China has raised the profile of same-sex parenting in a country where marriage rights are not recognized. Split from her partner last year, Zhang Peiyi is suing for custody of one of the children they parented…
Activists raise a rainbow flag as they march during a demonstration to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Changsha, Hunan province May 17, 2013.
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As Bangladesh braces for the impact of COVID-19, with much of the country in lockdown, people with means have stocked food and hunkered down at home. But in a country where one in five people lives below the poverty line, for…
A Hijra in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
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In an assault on freedom of expression, a court in China sentenced a successful novelist, Ms. Liu, to 10 years in prison on October 31 for including explicit homoerotic content in her work. The charge against her was making and selling…
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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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Security Forces Offer Threats, Not Protection

Bangladesh’s notorious Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) raided a gathering in Dhaka on May 19, arrested 28 men, paraded them in front of the media while saying they were gay, and accused them of drug possession. Apparently tipped off by a…
Members of the the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 4, 2012.
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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Bangladesh's beleagured LGBT community deserves the government's respect, but more importantly, the community deserves protection from fatal attacks by extremists, says this researcher at Human Rights Watch.

On April 14 I saw a news alert about police arresting four LGBT people in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s bustling capital city. I emailed Xulhaz Mannan, a contact at the organization mentioned in the news piece, to ask what support they needed. He wrote back two…
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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…