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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
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Nepal Was Far Ahead of Its Neighbors in Protecting Reproductive Rights

I am the daughter of a formidable campaigner for women’s reproductive rights in Nepal. Decades ago, when such issues were not part of the playbook for development activists, my mother, a medical doctor, started setting up family…
Women activists lie down on the road during a protest demanding women’s rights in the constitution in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 7, 2015.
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Ramita married when she was 12 years old and her husband was 15. She describes it as a “love marriage” – she chose her husband and decided to marry him. But it’s not a simple romance.   Ramita’s choice is a reflection of how…
Lalita B.,17, had an arranged marriage at the age of 12 with a 37-year-old man.
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I never imagined a career in sex education. ​But in the villages of Nepal, it felt like there was no choice. I was researching a Human Rights Watch report on child marriage in Nepal, interviewing dozens of married girls, one after another,…
A five-year-old girl sits in a nursery school, which she is attending with a scholarship funded by a private sponsor. Quality education provides protection from child marriage—girls who are in school are less likely to marry. April 12, 2016.
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“I had three kids. Two died. Only one is alive,” Kamala Kumari Pariyar told Human Rights Watch, sitting in the shade outside her home in Nepal’s southern Terai region. Kamala married at age 13. She attended school to class three but then…
Sharmila G., 14, eloped at age 12 and married an 18-year-old man. At the time this picture was taken she was seven months pregnant. She said that when rumors spread in her village about her relationship with her then-boyfriend, her parents tried to separa
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Imagine for a moment that you are the father of a 13-year old girl with autism, living in Nepal. You approach public and private schools alike and are repeatedly told that the school can't handle your child. So instead, you join with other parents of…
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Krishna, a 12-year old boy with a developmental disability, spends his entire day locked in a small room. His mother told me, “I can’t just look after him—my other child will miss his bus, everything will be in disarray.” She takes Krishna outside to see…
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Being forced into domestic servitude is one of the most common forms of human trafficking. Yet it remains one of the most invisible, including meager media coverage and law enforcement efforts. On June 27, the US State Department released its Trafficking…