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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.
News
I can’t stop thinking about Marie. She was 30 years old when I met her in 2015. Two years earlier, six fighters armed with rifles and machetes burst into her home in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui. Two of the fighters held her…
Josephine, 28, said she fled her home in Bangui with her husband and five young children due to fighting in the city in October 2014. When she returned to her neighborhood to collect clothes and dishes for the family, three anti-balaka stopped her and t
News

Women Tell Their Stories

Abortion in all instances, including rape, is illegal in Honduras. Any woman who has an abortion, and anyone found to have helped her, can be charged with a crime and imprisoned. For that reason, La Línea (“The Line”) was a rare resource in…
Lorena (a pseudonym) was unaware she was pregnant when she went to a hospital in intense pain two years ago. Doctors suspected she had attempted an abortion and called the police. She was taken from the hospital in handcuffs and is now facing charges.
Video
Cristina Alvarado is a social worker and part of the national coordination team of Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz “Visitación Padilla” (Movement of Women for Peace “Visitacion Padilla”).
News

Immediately Suspend Highly Abusive Law

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Brunei government’s introduction of a new Sharia penal code poses grave threats to basic rights, especially for the country’s most vulnerable people, Human Rights Watch said today. The penal code, which goes into effect…
The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah listens during the first executive session of the CHOGM summit at Lancaster House in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.
News

Victims of Sexual Violence Need More Support to Continue Education

In 2015, as conflict raged in the Central African Republic, Evelyne (not her real name) was returning from selling cassava leaves near Boda, in the country’s southwest, when an anti-balaka fighter threw her on the ground, raped her, and…
Josephine, 28, said she fled her home in Bangui with her husband and five young children due to fighting in the city in October 2014. When she returned to her neighborhood to collect clothes and dishes for the family, three anti-balaka stopped her and t
News

UN Peacekeeping Mission Faces Renewal, Needs Expansion

(Nairobi) – Violence threatening civilians has surged in recent months in the Central African Republic’s south-central and southeastern regions. To protect people at risk, the United Nations Security Council should renew the mandate of the UN…
Anti-Balaka fighters in Gambo, Mboumou province, Central African Republic, on August 16, 2017.
News
When an armed group attacked “Irène’s” home in the Central African Republic, fighters shot her husband in both legs as he tried to flee, and tied their five-year-old daughter to a post when she began to cry. “Irène,” 36, held her palms over her eyes as…
Angèle, 27 ans, serre son enfant dans ses bras à Bangui, en République centrafricaine. Les combattants de la Séléka ont tué son mari et ses parents, avant de la capturer près de Bambari en juin 2014, a-t-elle raconté. Ils l’ont détenue en tant qu’esclave
News

Widespread Rape, Sexual Slavery by Armed Groups

(New York) – Armed groups in the Central African Republic have used rape and sexual slavery as a tactic of war across the country during nearly five years of conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Commanders have…
Josephine, 28, said she fled her home in Bangui with her husband and five young children due to fighting in the city in October 2014. When she returned to her neighborhood to collect clothes and dishes for the family, three anti-balaka stopped her and t
Report
Summary We spent a week there. [The anti-balaka] raped us every day…. We had become their “wives.” It was us who prepared the food…. At any moment, they would want to sleep with you and, if you resisted, they threatened to kill you….…
Video
Armed groups in the Central African Republic have used rape and sexual slavery as a tactic of war across the country during nearly five years of conflict. Commanders have tolerated widespread sexual violence by their forces and, in some cases, appear to…
News

UN Secretary-General Calls for Safe Abortion Access

At today’s United Nations Security Council debate, member states will discuss the secretary-general’s annual report on sexual violence in conflict. In this year’s annual report, the secretary-general recognizes sexual and reproductive…
A sign emphasizing the importance of healthcare and protection for survivors of sexual violence at a hospital in Kaga Bandoro, Central African Republic.
News

Repeated Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

(Nairobi) – Ugandan soldiers in the Central African Republic have sexually exploited or abused at least 13 women and girls since 2015, including at least one rape, and threatened some victims to remain silent, Human Rights Watch said today. The Ugandan…
“Karin,” a 15-year-old girl in Obo who was eight months pregnant at the time of photo.
News

Lawmakers Set to Discuss Loosening Notoriously Strict Anti-Abortion Law

This week, lawmakers in Honduras will have the chance to allow some women access to abortion, reversing restrictions first imposed more than 30 years ago. Under the current law, terminating a pregnancy is illegal and carries a heavy prison sentence,…
News

Investigate, Prosecute Peacekeepers Accused of Sexual Assault

Thérèse, a 14-year-old in the Central African Republic, probably doesn’t know that defense ministers from around the globe will meet in London on Thursday this week to discuss United Nations peacekeeping. But she has a stake in what happens there. …
A United Nations peacekeeper stands alongside a road near the refugee camp of Saint Sauveur, in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, November 29, 2015.
News
The attack started while she was drawing water for her family. “Sophie,” then 20 years old, was returning to her home in Bambari, in Central African Republic (CAR), when she heard that the Seleka, mostly Muslim fighters who had ousted the previous…
A sign emphasizing the importance of healthcare and protection for survivors of sexual violence at a hospital in Kaga Bandoro, Central African Republic.
News
Despite their mandate to maintain peace and protect people in war-torn countries, some UN peacekeepers have themselves been abusers. Highly publicized allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic have…
Women walk by a United Nations peacekeeping armored vehicle guarding the outer perimeter of a school used as an electoral center at the end of the presidential and legislative elections, in the mostly muslim PK5 neighborhood of Bangui.