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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.

Urgent Need to Protect Rights of Lake Malawi Communities

  Click to expand Image Nagomba E., 75, standing where her house…
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.

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…

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.

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…
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…

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…

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…

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…

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.…

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…

End Crackdown on Activists

(Johannesburg) – The Malawi government’s recent surge of arrests and threats against critics reflects itsbroader crackdown on free speech and other basic rights,Human Rights Watch said today. On March 9, 2012, Malawi’s State House, the President's office,…