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Inadequate Support Highlights Need for Expanded Social Security System

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the plight of families living in poverty in Lagos State, Nigeria and left many people struggling to afford food and meet other basic needs. Survey data shows federal and state government…
A group of women wait for food relief distribution
News

Surge in State-Sponsored Harassment

(Johannesburg) – Ghana’s attorney general should drop charges against 21 human rights defenders who face ongoing judicial harassment after attending a paralegal training session, Human Rights Watch said today. The activists were charged with “unlawful…
People who were detained by police on suspicion of promoting an LGBT agenda at an unlawful assembly arrive at a court for a bail hearing in Ho, Volta Region, Ghana on June 4, 2021.
News

Meager Government Aid Leaves Children Working Long Hours for Little Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
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Children in Ghana, Nepal, Uganda Describe Grueling Hours, Low Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
News

Ex-President Jammeh Linked to 2005 Murder of 59 West African Migrants

(Banjul) – A Nigerian man whose brother was among about 59 West African migrants killed in Gambia in 2005 by a paramilitary unit controlled by then-president Yahya Jammeh, told Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on March…
Paul Omozemoje Enagameh of Nigeria who was arrested and forcibly disappeared in The Gambia in 2005.
News

United Nations Urges Releasing, Reintegrating Children Caught Up in Conflict

(Abuja) – The Nigerian government should comply with new United Nations Security Council recommendations to immediately release children from military detention for alleged association with Boko Haram, Human Rights Watch said today. The government…
UNICEF photo
News

Unblock Bank Accounts, Dismiss Fines

(Abuja) – Nigerian authorities appear to have used coercive financial measures to suppress protests against police brutality and independent media reporting, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should urgently lift arbitrary restrictions,…
People hold banners and flags as they protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday Oct. 19, 2020.
News

Prosecute Officers Responsible; Move Toward Systemic Reform

(Abuja) – Nigerian security forces have responded to overwhelmingly peaceful protests against police brutality with more violence and abuse. Nationwide protests began on October 8, 2020, calling on the authorities to abolish an abusive police unit…
Demonstrators protesting against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, on October 15, 2020.
News

Nigerian Advocate Hauwa Ojeifo Is Inaugural Fellow

(New York) – Human Rights Watch has selected a Nigerian human rights advocate, Hauwa Ojeifo, as the recipient of its inaugural Marca Bristo Fellowship, an award created in memory of the pioneering disability rights icon, Human Rights Watch announced…
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International Inquiry Needed

(Accra) – The families of more than 50 Ghanaian and other West African migrants killed in Gambia and Senegal 15 years ago have yet to learn the full truth and obtain justice concerning the massacre, 11 human rights organizations said today. Amid…
Families of massacre victims, in Kumasi Ghana, April 2018.
News

Allow Access to Lawyers

(Abuja) – The Nigerian police should immediately disclose the whereabouts of Mubarak Bala, president of the Nigerian Humanist Association, who has been detained incommunicado since April 28, 2020.  Bala was arrested at his home by police in…
Mubarak Bala
News

Ensure Equal Access to Treatment; Invest in Community-Based Support

(Brussels) – Ghana’s Accra Psychiatric Hospital has confirmed that a patient has tested positive for Covid-19, causing concern about protection for other patients and staff, Human Rights Watch said today. The infected woman was admitted…
The dormitory in the men’s forensic ward of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital in Ghana. The dormitory has since been refurbished.
News

Extended Lockdown Threatens Livelihoods of Millions

  (Abuja) – Nigeria’s federal and state governments should ensure the rights to food, shelter, and other basic necessities for people losing jobs or income during the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic assistance that the…
People walk past closed street stalls and shops in Lagos, Nigeria on March 26, 2020 during a government-imposed lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19. 2020 AP Photo/Sunday Alamba.
News

Ensure Emergency Preparedness for Displaced, Vulnerable People

  (Abuja, March 25, 2020) – The Nigerian government should ensure that its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is rooted in respect for human rights by ensuring access to standard health care services, clean water, and…
A securityman administers sanitiser to a visitor to a state hospital in Lagos, on February 28, 2020.
News

Apparent Retaliation for Helping Victim File Rape Report

  (Abuja) – A lawyer who helped a young woman file a rape report has accused police in Nigeria’s  southeastern Enugu state of assaulting her, leaving her hospitalized in critical condition. The lawyer,…
WACOL and other civil society groups protest against the police on February 3, 2020 in Enugu City.
News

Enforce Ban on Chaining and Provide Community-Based Services

(Accra) – Faith-based and traditional healing centers in Ghana continue to hold people with real or perceived mental health conditions – psychosocial disabilities – in chains in inhumane conditions despite a 2017 ban on such treatment, Human Rights Watch…
In one traditional healing center, Human Rights Watch found 16 men in a dark, stifling room, all of them with short chains, no longer than half a meter, around their ankles. They called out: “We are suffering here. They are abusing our human rights. Pleas
News

Free Omoleye Sowore; Allow Peaceful Protests

  (Abuja) – The Nigerian authorities are holding Omoleye Sowore, a former presidential candidate and democracy activist, in detention despite a November 6, 2019 bail order by an Abuja Federal High Court. The Department of…
Omoyele Sowore, pro-democracy activist and founder of Sahara Reporters news agency © 2016 Mohamed Nanabhay (via Wikimedia)
News
(Abuja) – The Nigerian army’s release on October 3, 2019, of 25 detained children is an important step toward rights-respecting treatment of children affected by the Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria. The 23 boys and 2 girls had…
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News

Thousands Have Been Held in Deplorable Conditions

(Abuja) – The Nigerian military has arbitrarily detained thousands of children in degrading and inhuman conditions for suspected involvement with the armed Islamist group Boko Haram, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
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End Detention in Shelters, Provide More Support

(Abuja) – Many survivors of sex and labor trafficking struggle with unaddressed health challenges, poverty, and abhorrent conditions upon their return to Nigeria. Nigerian authorities have failed to provide the assistance that survivors need to…
A woman from Cameroon sits with her baby in a private shelter in Lagos, Nigeria.