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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,…
News

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…
News

Eastern Caribbean LGBT Activists Seek Protection, Not Marriage

After Human Rights Watch released a report on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and buggery laws in the Eastern Caribbean, a government minister from Barbados warned against “an attempt to transpose and to…
An unknown man on the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados.
News

Eastern Caribbean People Should Know Rihanna Has Spoken Out for LGBT People

“Why are we homophobic in Barbados and other countries in the Eastern Caribbean?” a popular host of a morning television show in Barbados asked me. I was on the island – and his show – to talk about a new Human Rights Watch report about…
Rihanna Drive, Barbados.
Report
Summary Every day I fear for my safety living in this country because of my sexual orientation. I am alive but if anyone ever find out and wanted to find out, they can kill me …I am an easy target for anything. —Peter, Dominica,…
News

Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
News
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,…
News
When people ask me what rising sea levels and hurricanes have to do with human rights, I tell them about my work trip to the Maldives back in 2008. At the time, the small island nation was undertaking democratic reforms and leading the diplomatic…
Maldivian Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Ibrahim Didi signs a declaration calling on countries to cut down carbon dioxide emissions ahead of a major UN climate change conference in the Maldives, October 17, 2009. The Maldivian president and ministe
News

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
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…
News

Statement delivered under Item 6

The Universal Periodic Review of Fiji comes at an important point in Fiji’s history. In 2014, the country held its first general elections in nearly eight years, resulting in the election of a new government of the Fiji First Party, headed by Prime…
News

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. …
News
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…