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Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
News

Government Should Implement Legislation, Address Gaps in Protection for Victims

This month, after years of activism, Kuwaiti women’s rights activists won a new law establishing protections against domestic violence. The need for this law was underscored on September 9 when Fatima al-Ajmi, aged 35 and pregnant, was shot repeatedly…
The Kuwait city skyline is seen through the haze of a sand storm in Shuwaikh, Kuwait City.
News

New ‘Bilingual’ Policy Threatens Children’s Education

(New York) – The Chinese government should reverse its new policy of increasingly replacing Mongolian with Mandarin Chinese as the language of instruction in Inner Mongolia schools, Human Rights Watch said today. Chinese authorities should also stop…
Mongolians protest at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, against China's plan to introduce Mandarin-only classes at schools in the neighbouring Chinese province of Inner Mongolia on August 31, 2020.
News

Maha al-Mutairi’s Allegations of Police Abuse Go Viral in Kuwait

As Maha al-Mutairi, a 39-year-old Kuwaiti transgender woman, made her way to a police station last Friday night, she decided to post a video. Maha had been summoned by authorities for “imitating women” – the fourth time she has faced this charge…
The transgender pride flag.
News

87th Pre-Session

We write in advance of the 87th pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and its review of Kuwait’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This submission proposes issues and questions that the Committee members may want…
News

Promising Commitments; Proper Implementation, Additional Measures Needed

  (Beirut) – Kuwaiti authorities should ensure that migrant workers receive adequate protection during the Covid-19 pandemic, a coalition of 16 nongovernmental organizations and trade unions said on April 10, 2020 in a letter to the…
Logos of civil society organizations and trade unions.
News

Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

(Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
News

Peacefully Protested Their Lack of Fundamental Rights

(Beirut) – More than a dozen Bidun activists detained in Kuwait since July 2019 began a hunger strike on August 22 to protest human rights violations against themselves and the Bidun community, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Bidun residential area in Taima, al-Jahra, Kuwait.
News

Stateless Bidun Planned Memorial After Member’s Suicide

(Beirut) – Kuwait’s State Security agency arrested at least 14 activists from the stateless Bidun community over the past week, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities arrested the activists after they organized a…
Bidun residential area in Taima, al-Jahra, Kuwait.
News

Deportees Face Torture, Persecution in Egypt

(Beirut) – Kuwaiti authorities on July 15, 2019 unlawfully returned eight Egyptian dissidents despite the serious risk of torture and persecution they face in Egypt, Human Rights Watch said today. The deportation of the men appears to…
Kuwait’s Interior Ministry released a video statement on July 12 alleging the eight Egyptians were sought for criminal offenses in Egypt. Video originally published on Kuwait’s Interior Ministry YouTube Page.
News

Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
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

Forcibly Deported by Kuwait on Unclear Grounds

(Beirut) – Kuwaiti authorities have arrested and extrajudicially deported a young dual Qatari-Saudi national. Nawaf al-Rasheed, 29, was deported to Saudi Arabia on May 12, 2018 during a visit to Kuwait and has been held incommunicado since. Saudi…
Nawaf al-Rasheed
News

Videos, Report Highlight Issues of Identity, Activism

(Beirut, April 16, 2018) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa are defying state-sponsored repression and social stigma, Human Rights Watch and the…
No Longer Alone
News
Despite setbacks for women’s rights around the globe in 2017, some of the most exciting reforms and positive momentum emerged from the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisian women have new protections against violence. Migrant domestic workers in…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Opportunity for Judiciary to Uphold Free Speech, Peaceful Assembly

A top Kuwaiti court has released on bail 44 people who had been convicted and imprisoned after protesting and calling for the country’s prime minister to resign in 2011—prosecutions that smacked of intimidation and retaliation for…
Kuwaitis protest outside the parliament building in Kuwait City November 16, 2011.
News

Migration Ban Increases Abuse Risk

(Beirut) – The Philippines’ new ban on Filipinos migrating to Kuwait for work is likely to increase abuses of workers who are forced to resort to unsafe and unregulated channels to enter the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Kuwait and the…
News
“If you want to go back [home], you have to pay back the money we spent to bring you here.” “Atiya Z.” (not her real name) and I were sitting under a veranda, shaded from the hot sun in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, when…
Employment visa from Oman in the passport of a former Tanzanian domestic worker. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.