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Authorities Should Address Sexual Violence, Ensure Justice

Protests over sexual assault have renewed in India’s capital, Delhi, after a 9-year-old Dalit girl was killed on Sunday. Her family alleges that she was raped and murdered while fetching water from a crematorium in southwest Delhi. The crematorium’s…
Activists hold a candlelight march protesting the alleged rape and murder of a 9-year-old Dalit girl in New Delhi, India on August 4, 2021. 
News

International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
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News

Authorities Blame Critics After Rape and Murder in Uttar Pradesh State

The rape, torture, and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman allegedly by a group of dominant-caste men in the village of Hathras, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, has sparked widespread outrage. People across the country are protesting, demanding…
Chandrashekhar Azad, leader of the Bhim Army, a party advocating for the rights of Dalits, speaks during a protest against the gang rape and killing of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh state, in New Delhi, India, October 2, 2020. 
News

Journalists Assaulted, Threatened, Harassed

Kenyan media didn’t have much to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day. Kenyan police and senior state officials have continued to intimidate, threaten, and physically attack journalists reporting on sensitive issues, and authorities have done…
Ferry passengers flee from police firing tear gas, after new measures aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus instead caused a crowd to form outside the ferry in Mombasa, Kenya Friday, March 27, 2020.
News

Enforce Laws, Create Protection Systems for Children

Protests broke out in the Maldives recently after the rape of a 2-year-old girl. She had apparently been attacked by her father, grandfather, and great grandfather, all of whom were arrested. Her 82-year-old great grandfather had previously been…
News

Enforce Laws to Protect Women’s Safety

The 27-year-old veterinarian had called her family to say she was stranded with a flat tire in India’s Hyderabad city, and that a truck driver and his friends had offered to help. Then she stopped answering her phone. Later…
People shout slogans condemning rising cases of rape and violence against women during a protest in Ahmedabad, India, December 2, 2019.
News

Proposed Reparations Bill Chance to Compensate Post-Election Rape Survivors

This weekend, I received the sad news that Chepkorir had died. Chepkorir, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy, was raped in December 2007. The men who raped her beat her badly and she had been struggling with poor health…
News

Journalists Face Unjustifiable Restrictions, Threats

Many Kenyan journalists and rights activists travelled this week to Ethiopia for a summit to mark the World Press Freedom Day celebrations. It’s a sign of how things have changed that some Kenyan journalists told us how impressed they…
A Kenyan journalist participates in a protest in the capital, Nairobi, against draconian new laws restricting media freedom that were presented in parliament, December 3, 2013.
News

Some Survivors of Sexual Violence Spend Years Awaiting Compensation

Good things happen to those who wait – or so the saying goes. However, women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence in India can spend years waiting for justice. In 2014, 13-year-old “Razia,” who lives in a…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
News

Concerns Over Vigilante Violence, Data Protection, and Privacy Rights

The Indian government’s plan to develop a national registry of sexual offenders is raising a slew of concerns, from data breaches to violations of privacy protections, including for individuals who were never convicted of a sexual offense. …
Schoolgirls participate in a protest rally against the rape of two teenage girls in Chatra and Pakur districts of Jharkhand state, in Ranchi, India May 8, 2018.
News

Authorities Should Allow Open Reporting on Issues of Public Interest

Kenya joined the rest of the world to celebrate freedom of the press this week under a hostile and uncertain environment for the media. Despite numerous public promises by President Uhuru Kenyatta to safeguard press freedom, the…
An anti-riot police officer aims a teargas canister while journalists cover an anti-corruption protest in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. November 3, 2016.
News

Need to Enforce Existing Laws to Protect Women and Children

Reeling from protests across the country demanding justice for victims in the recent  spate of sexual assaults, Indian authorities are under pressure to respond. One step the government has decided to adopt is a sex offenders’ database…
Women hold candles as they shout slogans during a protest against the rape of a ten-year-old girl, in the outskirts of Delhi, India April 25, 2018.
News

Lawyers Try to Block Police from Filing Charges Against Hindu Suspects

A heated scene outside a courthouse in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state unfolded yesterday, as lawyers physically attempted to stop police from filing charges against six men and a boy accused of raping and murdering Asifa Bano, an 8-…
Lawyers clash with police outside a courthouse in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, April 9, 2018.
News

More Protection, Support for Victims Needed

Human Rights Watch research confirms that, once again, there was sexual violence against women and girls during the most recent post-election violence in Kenya. I interviewed over 50 victims and witnesses in Mathare, Kisumu, Bungoma, and Dandora.…
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Journalists Face Intimidation Around Election

Duncan Khaemba, a television journalist in Kenya, was reporting on cases of violence in Kibera, a low-income neighborhood in Nairobi, when he was arrested with his colleague Otieno Willis on August 12, and subsequently released. Media…
An anti-riot police officer aims a teargas canister while journalists cover an anti-corruption protest in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. November 3, 2016.
News

Protecting Children of Rape, the Invisible Victims of Conflict and Political Violence

Akinyi was only 11 years old when three men broke into her home in Kericho, Kenya, in December 2007, as post-election violence raged, and gang raped her and her mother. Akinyi became pregnant, but did not want anything to do with the baby girl she bore.…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
News

Annual Day Promotes Accountability for Attacks on the Media

For reporters at risk around the world – because they’re exposing corruption, covering conflict, or afflicting the comfortable – today matters: it’s the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. You’d think a group of professional…
Somali photojournalist runs for cover while reporting on fighting between the Somali government and African Union forces against the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, April 2012.
News

Authorities Should Redouble Efforts to End Abuses Against Women, Girls

A 24/7 helpline for cows? No, this isn’t a joke. The Haryana state government in India has created a new helpline to report cow slaughter and smuggling. Last month, a group calling itself Gau Rakshaks (literally, “cow protectors”) beat up two…
Activists from All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) shout slogans as they carry placards outside the Haryana Bhawan during a protest in New Delhi, India, February 29, 2016 demanding a probe into what they said were rapes and sexual assaults in
News
It has been a tough year so far for the media in Kenya, with journalists and bloggers bearing the brunt of what seems to be a concerted government effort to silence the press. On January 19, for example, Kenyan blogger Edwin…
Joseph Ole Nkaissery, Secretary for Internal Security and Coordination of National Government, Kenya.