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Security Forces Should Observe International Law Enforcement Standards

(Johannesburg) – South African authorities should ensure that security forces deployed to police escalating riots and looting respect rights and observe international law enforcement standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The riots, which are…
A man suspected of looting is arrested at a shopping mall in Soweto, near Johannesburg, Tuesday July 13, 2021.
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Punish Officers Responsible; Improve Training; Halt Use of Rubber Bullets

(Johannesburg) – The South African police unlawfully used excessive and disproportionate force to disperse student protesters at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) on March 10, 2021, killing a bystander, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Three protesters were arrested and taken to the Hillbrow police station on Wednesday.
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Governments Should Urgently Tackle Education-Related Abuses

(London) – Governments around the world should urgently step up efforts to ensure students’ safety at school and in online spaces, Human Rights Watch said today on the first International Day against Violence and Bullying at School Including…
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Implement National Action Plan; Hold Attackers Responsible

(Johannesburg) – Xenophobic harassment and violence against African and Asian foreigners living in South Africa are routine and sometimes lethal, Human Rights Watch said in a report, video, and Witness article released today. Despite the March 2019…
A man walks in front of a buildings, with smoke rising in the background
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End to Institutional Living, Implement Right to Live in the Community

(Brussels) – Serbia’s government should collect and make public the data on Covid-19 infections and deaths inside institutions for people with disabilities, six organizations for people with disabilities and human rights groups said today in a letter…
A room in the Sremčica Home for children and adults with disabilities where 292 persons, including 49 children, with disabilities live. Up to 10 people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
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Witness Protection Essential

(Brussels) – The indictment made public on June 24, 2020 against Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and other former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders advances justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human…
Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. © 2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
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Refugees, Asylum Seekers Excluded; Face Starvation

(Johannesburg) – The South African government’s Covid-19 aid programs, including food parcels, have overlooked refugees and asylum seekers. They include many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people who fled to South…
People affected by the coronavirus economic downturn, line up to receive food donations at the Iterileng informal settlement near Laudium, southwest of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
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Monitor Lockdown Enforcement; Support Vulnerable Groups

(Johannesburg) – The South African government’s response to the unprecedented global health challenge of COVID-19 should fully respect the rights and dignity of everyone in the country. With 1,655 confirmed cases as of April…
Soldiers patrol the streets in an attempt to enforce a 21 day nationwide lockdown, aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Alexandra township, South Africa, March 28, 2020.
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Leaders Should Promote Human Rights Across Region

  (Johannesburg) – Weak domestic and regional institutions undermined human rights in several Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries during 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020…
A delegate attends the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Pretoria, South Africa, August 19, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Sylvia remembers the first time a government official came to speak to her community in Lephalale, in the Limpopo province, about the construction of a new coal power plant. Like many other community members, she hoped that the plant…
Coal mine in Somkhele viewed from Ocilwane village in Fuleni, KwaZulu-Natal. © 2018 Rob Symons
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At least 12 Dead, Thousands Displaced

  (Johannesburg) – The South African police should take swift action to end xenophobic attacks targeting African foreign nationals. At least twelve people have been killed, thousands displaced, and…
Stones and bricks are seen on a street on the outskirts of Johannesburg, Monday Sept. 2, 2019. Police had earlier fired rubber bullets as they struggled to stop looters who targeted businesses as unrest broke out in several spots in and around the city.
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Criminalisation Harms Women, Fuels HIV Epidemic

South African authorities are compromising the safety and wellbeing of women and obstructing efforts to end the HIV pandemic by treating sex work as a crime, Human Rights Watch and the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT…
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Adopt Free, Inclusive Education for All

(Johannesburg) – South Africa has not delivered on its promises to guarantee inclusive education for children with disabilities and to ensure that they have adequate skills for employment, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Phumzile Vilikhazi, who has an 18-year-old son with autism, writing “Today we appeal and call for justice and accountability” on a poster
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Athletics Federation Rules Exclude Women with Intersex Variations from Competition

(New York) – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed South African athlete Caster Semenya’s challenge to international athletics regulations which would see her compelled to undergo medical treatment or be forced out of competition.…
Caster Semenya of South Africa, Charlene Lipsey of the united States and Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain compete in the Women's 800 metres semi finals during day eight of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017
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Government, Companies Should Protect Environment Defenders

(Johannesburg) – Community activists in mining areas in South Africa face harassment, intimidation, and violence, the Centre for Environmental Rights, groundWork, Earthjustice, and Human Rights Watch said in a joint report and video released today…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
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Rise in Xenophobic Violence as Elections Near

(Johannesburg) – Authorities in South Africa should urgently investigate, and arrest and prosecute those responsible for a spate of violence against foreign nationals in Durban from March 25 to April 2, 2019, the South Africa-…
Hundreds of foreign nationals displaced by xenophobic attacks in Durban on March 27, 2019  take refuge near the Sydenham Police Station. © 2019 RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images.
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Expectations for Transitions Fall Short

(Johannesburg) – New leadership in key Southern Africa countries renewed hope for greater respect for human rights, but the region’s leaders failed to live up to expectations in 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
A delegate attends the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Pretoria, South Africa, August 19, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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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.
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New Leaders Should Reject Past Abuses, Defend Rights

(Johannesburg) – Southern African governments clamped down on vocal journalists, activists, and opposition politicians in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. South Africa, which chairs the Southern…
A delegate attends the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Pretoria, South Africa, August 19, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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.