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New Momentum for African LGBT Movements

(Johannesburg) – The High Court in Botswana ruled on June 11, 2019 that laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional, Human Rights Watch said today. The ruling upheld the rights of the country’s lesbian, gay,…
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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.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…
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After everything that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experienced in 2017 — from roundups and torture in Chechnya to antigay witch hunts in Egypt and Indonesia, closure of queer-friendly health facilities in…
The Indian Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India.
News

Country’s High Court Rules in Favor of Transgender Man

In a legal first for Botswana, the country’s High Court has ruled that a transgender man should be allowed to hold official documents that reflect his gender identity. The judgment is a huge victory for transgender people in Botswana,…
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29th session of the Universal Periodic Review, January 2018

The Botswana government has made progress implementing the recommendations it accepted during its last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2013. The government signed the Safe Schools Declaration in June 2017, an international commitment that provides…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
News

Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex. The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
News

Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
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

Pushback Against AU Call for Withdrawal

The 27th African Union (AU) summit closed Monday evening without an AU call for immediate mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court in the face of strong pushback from Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and even ICC non-member Algeria,…
A general view shows delegates during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 31, 2016.
News

Bill to ‘Protect’ Children Would Violate Their Rights

(Berlin) – The Moldovan parliament should reject a bill to introduce discriminatory anti-gay “propaganda” clauses in national law, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to lawmakers. The bill is similar to those proposed in other countries in recent…
©2016 Maxim Andreev for GENDERDOC-M. Demonstrators protest in opposition to an LGBT pride march held in Moldova in May 2016.
News

Draft Law on Amending and Completing the Code of Administrative Offences and the Law on the Rights of a Child

June 20, 2016 Dear MP: We are writing to ask you to ensure that a discriminatory anti-LGBT “propaganda” bill currently before Parliament is withdrawn or rejected and does not become law. On April 28, 2016, members of parliament…
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Forced Return Could Lead to Torture, Ill-Treatment

(Berlin) – The government of Moldova should ensure that Tajik opposition activist Sobir Valiev is not extradited or otherwise returned to Tajikistan, where he faces possible torture or ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said today. Sobir Valiev, deputy…
2015_August_Tajikistan_Sobir_Valiev
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Jurist Guest Columnists Anneke Meerkotter of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch discuss how recent court rulings in Botswana, Kenya and Zambia illustrate significant progress in human rights in general and in LGBT…
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LGBT Group Allowed to Register

(Nairobi) – The Botswana High Court, in a groundbreaking decision, ruled on November 14, 2014, that members of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights group could formally register their organization, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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It’s not illegal to be gay in Botswana, but sometimes it must feel like it. Just ask Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), a non-profit group that’s been fighting for a decade to get official standing in the country, a battle that will come…
News
The U.N. Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution on “traditional values of humankind” as a vehicle for “promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.” It sounds innocuous, but its implications are ominous. Indeed, it is an immediate threat to…
News

Law Should Cover Gender Identity

(Amsterdam) – The Moldovan government’s draft anti-discrimination law would provide a range of important protections, but it should be broadened to include gender identity, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed law, which would provide protection on…
News

Abuses Intensify in Zimbabwe Against Rights Defenders and Political Activists

(Johannesburg) - The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) should publicly press President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his party to end their harassment and arbitrary arrests of civil society activists and political opponents, Human Rights Watch…