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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 continue…
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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.
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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.
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There’s a new fashion among African presidents bent on clinging to power: the constitutional coup. Military coups are no longer de rigueur, in part because the African Union has said it won’t recognize governments that come to power by means of such…
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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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The State Department’s new list of governments using child soldiers is out. Seven countries are named this year. The list is not that surprising: It includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma and South Sudan, which have deployed child soldiers for…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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A Victory for Congo's Children

Yesterday in The Hague, the International Criminal Court (ICC) found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty of recruiting and using child soldiers under age 15 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making him the ICC’s first convicted war criminal.…
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Investigate Civilian Deaths; End Arbitrary Arrests, Mistreatment

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan government should ensure that its forces in Somalia abide by the laws of war and avoid harm to civilians, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Kenyan minister of state for defense. The government should also promptly and…
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Hang Chakra (Cambodia) Hang Chakra was first a filmmaker, and since the early 1990s a journalist, contributing articles to Khmer Citizen, National Soul, and Interval.  In 1999 he launched his own newspaper, The Voice of Khmer National Patriots, and in…
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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…
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Southern African Leaders Should Urge End to Politically Motivated Abuses

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should press Zimbabwe's power-sharing government to end ongoing human rights violations and to implement legal reforms, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Heads of state from members of the…
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Measure to Prosecute Recruiters Abroad Puts Commanders on Notice

(New York) - Under a new law signed today by US President George W. Bush, leaders of military forces and armed groups who have recruited child soldiers may be arrested and prosecuted in the United States, Human Rights Watch said today. The law could apply…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…
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Christian Mounzéo, a leading anticorruption campaigner in oil-rich Congo-Brazzaville, was arbitrarily arrested and detained by authorities upon his return to the country allegedly because of his criticism of the government’s misuse of oil revenues, Human…