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New President Lazarus Chakwera Provides Opportunity for Reform

(Johannesburg) – Malawi’s new president, Lazarus Chakwera, should use his electoral victory as an opportunity to reset the country’s human rights record. On June 28, 2020, Chakwera was sworn in as president following a rerun vote on June 23, in which…
Malawi's newly elected President Lazarus Chakwera takes the oath of office in Lilongwe, Malawi, Sunday June 28, 2020.
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Safeguard Citizens Against Violence During Presidential Rerun Vote

(Johannesburg) – Malawi authorities should ensure a free and fair, as well as safe, vote during upcoming presidential rerun elections amid the Covid-19 pandemic. On May 8, 2020, the country’s Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional…
Opposition Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera addresses supporters after a court annulled the May 2019 presidential vote that declared Peter Mutharika a winner, in Lilongwe, Malawi, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara
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Repeal Laws; Moratorium Not Enough

  (Banjul, October 26, 2018) – Malawi’s laws prohibiting consensual same-sex relations foster a climate of fear and fuel violence and discrimination, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The…
A young transgender woman at a friend’s house seeking temporary shelter in Lilongwe, Malawi.
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Entitled to Consultation on Communal Ownership

  (Washington, DC) – A draft law before the Antigua and Barbuda Senate would deprive Barbudans of communal land where they have lived for generations, Human Rights Watch said today. The Antigua and Barbuda government should consult with the…
201807wrd_americas_barbuda
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
News

Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
News

Little Progress as Regional Body Marks 25th Anniversary

(Johannesburg) –The Southern African Development Community (SADC) should use the opportunity of its 25th anniversary to reaffirm its commitment to improve respect for human rights among its member states, Human Rights Watch said today. Heads of state of…
Billboard advertising the 2016 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Mbabane, Swaziland.
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End Exclusion from School for Married, Pregnant Students

(Dakar) – Millions of pregnant and married adolescent girls across many African countries are being denied their education because of discriminatory policies and practices, Human Rights Watch said today, on the Day of the African Child…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News

President Should Sign and Put Protections into Effect

(Lilongwe) – Malawi’s recently passed information bill could help communities affected by the extractive industries get information about related environmental, health, and safety risks, Human Rights Watch, Malawi’s Natural Resources…
Malcoal mine in Kayelekera.
News

Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
News

Urgent Need to Protect Rights of Lake Malawi Communities

  (Lilongwe) – Malawi’s government has failed to protect the rights and livelihoods of people living in nascent mining communities, Human Rights Watch said today in a report released on eve of the International Right to Know Day. Families…
Nagomba E., 75, standing where her house used to be in Mwabulambo, Karonga district. She and her family were told to relocate in 2008 because the land was needed for coal mining.
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Signs of Opening to LGBT Rights in Southern Africa

(Nairobi) – The Malawian government has reaffirmed its moratorium on prosecuting consensual same-sex conduct, the Centre for the Development of the People (CEDEP) and Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities also dropped sodomy charges against two men…
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Finance, Carry Out National Action Plans

(Nairobi) – African governments should coordinate action to improve laws, education, health care, and public awareness to end the scourge of child marriage, Human Rights Watch said today on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2015. Forty percent…
A young, unmarried girl stands amid a herd of cattle outside Bor, the capital of Jonglei State.  Cattle carry significant social, economic, and cultural importance for South Sudan's pastoralist ethnic groups, which use cows for payment of dowry.
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Amend Constitution; Address Anti-LGBTI Provisions

(Nairobi) – A new Malawi law that sets 18 as the minimum age for marriage is an important step toward preventing child marriage, Human Rights Watch said today. The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act (Marriage Act) of 2015 became law following the…
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Women’s Rights During its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2010, Malawi acknowledged that although its Constitution recognizes the right of women to full and equal protection of the law, and non-discrimination on the basis of their gender or…
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Serious Concerns in Several Member Countries

(Harare) – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) should address human rights violations among its member states as part of measures to improve the lives of its people, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights…
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Pass Marriage Law, Adopt Comprehensive Approach

(Lilongwe) – The government of Malawi should increase efforts to end widespread child and forced marriage, or risk worsening poverty, illiteracy, and preventable maternal deaths in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of…
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Other States That Criminalize Same-Sex Conduct Should Do the Same

(Nairobi) – The Malawian government’s decision to suspend enforcement of laws that criminalize consensual same-sex conduct is the right thing to do, and should serve as an inspiration to other countries that criminalize homosexuality, Human Rights Watch…
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For 6-Nation Visit, Government Secrecy, Excessive Use of Force Should Top Agenda

(Washington, DC) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her trip to Africa should promote freedom of expression and association and encourage countries to address police and security force abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a public letter today.…
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Government Won’t Host Summit if al-Bashir Attends

(Johannesburg) –The Malawi government showed strong support for victims of international crimes by deciding not to be the host of the African Union (AU) summit if President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan is allowed to attend, African civil society organizations…