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On the campaign trail and during his first three months in office, President Biden promised a US return to a multilateral foreign policy that supports human rights. That is an important vision for the Middle East, a region often destabilized…
President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington, February 4, 2021. 
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Allegations Against NY Governor Cuomo Highlight Need for Real Protections

The sexual harassment accusations against New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo are mounting as women turn to the media — on Twitter, in a personal essay, and in high-profile interviews with national news outlets — to detail their allegations against…
Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development adviser for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaks in front of microphones and a crowd of people holding signs at a rally in New York City, March 20, 2021. 
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Abortion Restrictions Defeated; Paid Family Leave, Mandatory Sex Education Adopted

With all eyes seemingly on the US presidential election, it’s easy to miss some of the exciting progress made on gender equality at the state level. Colorado voters had two big initiatives on their ballot, one to expand paid family and medical…
Boxes of vote-by-mail ballot envelopes are shown at the King County election headquarters in Renton, Washington, October 23, 2020. 
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Requires Attorney Consultation on Rights

(Sacramento) – A new California law will protect children in police custody, Human Rights Watch said today. The measure, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30, 2020, will make sure youth talk with an attorney while deciding whether to waive…
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S259011 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA O.G. Petitioner, vs. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF VENTURA CO. Respondent; THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Real Party Interest. On Review From The Court Of Appeal, Second…
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Known releases approximately 5% of global prison population

(New York) – Governments are releasing from jails and prisons far too few people whose continued detention in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic is not justified, Human Rights Watch said today, based on a global media survey. Available…
Inmates sitting in an overcrowded jail in Manila, Philippines, February 2019.
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Entrenched Discrimination, Violence Mar Gains 25 Years after Beijing

(New York) – Governments should mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020 with moves to expedite progress on gender equality, Human Rights Watch said today. They should plan for concerted action and dedicate resources to prevent…
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(Los Angeles) – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law SB 1391 ensuring that 14- and 15-year-olds accused of crimes will be tried in the juvenile justice system rather than prosecuted as adults. The following quote can be…
Why California Should Not Prosecute 14- and 15-year-olds as Adults
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New Law Would Keep 14- and 15-Year-Olds in Juvenile System

More than 1,500 children ages 15 and under have faced adult court sentences in California, including life in prison, since 2003. Children under 16 can be given adult sentences that take no account of their youth and vulnerability. They are…
Why California Should Not Prosecute 14- and 15-year-olds as Adults
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Why California Should Not Prosecute 14- and 15-year-olds as Adults

Summary and Recommendations After decades of handling youth 15 and younger in its rehabilitation-focused juvenile justice system, in 1995 California discarded its longstanding approach and adopted a new law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds…
Why California Should Not Prosecute 14- and 15-year-olds as Adults
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  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.
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On May 14, the Kenyan justice system failed women miserably. The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Kenya, petitioned the High Court, challenging the provisions of section 7 of the Matrimonial Property Act, 2013. The section makes ownership of…
Two widows in eastern Zimbabwe, facing harassment from in-laws who are trying to force them to vacate their homes and fields. Rural Eastern Zimbabwe, October 2016.
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Supporting Land Rights an Important Step

Earlier this week, the House Foreign Affairs committee approved a new bipartisan bill addressing women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. It’s not comprehensive legislation on women’s economic empowerment – it doesn’t address…
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Israeli soldiers arrested Ahmed, 16, in the West Bank city of Hebron last year. He said the soldiers blindfolded and handcuffed him and took him to a police station in a settlement, where he was made to sit outside on the ground for…
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State Will Limit Prison Terms, Offer Second Chances

  (Sacramento) – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law three bills that recognize young people’s vulnerability to abuse and their capacity to grow and mature, Human Rights Watch said today. The bills,…
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Robot Visits US, Afghan Girls Stuck at Home

We want to make a difference and most breakthroughs in science, technology, and other industries normally start with the dream of a child to do something great.  – Team Afghanistan’s statement on the competition website They…
Members of Afghan robotics girls team which was denied entry into the United States for a competition, work on their robots in Herat province, Afghanistan July 4, 2017.
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Recent US policy changes hurt the fight for safe motherhood not just around the world, but in the US as well

Dozens of countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the same day as the United States, including countries as diverse as Cambodia, Kenya, Bangladesh, and Brazil. But this holiday to celebrate and thank mothers is also one to mark devastating…
People gather for the Women's March in Washington U.S., January 21, 2017.
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Children Suffer When Moms Can’t Bail Out

The bail system punishes mothers when their children get held in jail. Mothers have to arrange visits and pay for phone calls. Mothers borrow money to pay bail bond fees. Mothers cut food budgets and scrape together rent, while making…
Women walk along a corridor at the Los Angeles County women's jail.
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The Paycheck Fairness Act Would Help Protect Working Women’s Rights

Today is “Equal Pay Day,” symbolizing how far past 2016 and into 2017 women in the United States, on average, have to work to earn as much as men did in 2016. In other words, to bring home what men earn in 12 months, women have to work for more than 15…
A mother and her daughter participate in the International Women's Day "A Day Without a Woman" protest in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 8, 2017.