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Girls Need Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Health Services, Safe Abortion

(New York) – Adolescent girls in the Dominican Republic are being denied their sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The authorities should carry out a new plan for…
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  Introduction “I felt like the world was falling down on me…. I was going crazy, thinking I can’t have a kid. I’m not prepared, I’m not ready economically…. I’d always thought of myself as becoming a successful lawyer or psychologist. I was…
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So, all abortion is banned in the Dominican Republic? Yes. Even in instances where a woman or girl is pregnant from rape or incest, if her life is in danger, or if the fetus won’t survive outside the womb. But the ban, in effect since 1884,…
Rosa Hernández stands in her home below a photo of her daughter, Rosaura Almonte Hernández, who died in 2012 at age 16.
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The Dominican Republic’s total ban on abortion threatens women's health and lives and violates their rights. Abortion is illegal in the Dominican Republic in all circumstances, even when a pregnancy is life-threatening, unviable, or the result of rape.…
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Secretary-General’s ‘List of Shame’ Should Reflect Report Findings

(New York) – The United Nations secretary-general’s new report on children and armed conflict sets a damaging precedent by ignoring or downplaying some countries’ abuses in his annual “list of shame,” Human Rights Watch said today.…
School in Nikishine, eastern Ukraine, damaged during fighting between Ukrainian government and rebel forces from Aug. 2014 to Feb. 2015.
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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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Grant Access to Asylum Procedures; Hold Abusers Accountable

(New York) –Yemeni government officials have tortured, raped, and executed migrants and asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa in a detention center in the southern port city of Aden, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have…
Buraika detention facility for migrants in Aden governorate, Yemen. © 2018 VICE News Tonight on HBO
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After recruitment by Al-Shabab, children face difficult conditions in detention

How is it that children get involved with Al-Shabab in the first place?   Al-Shabab uses many means to recruit children, including enticements, deceit and force. Poor rural communities, with little protection, are particularly vulnerable to…
Photo of Somali children blindfolded.
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Emphasize Rehabilitation, Develop Child-Specific Procedures

(Washington) – Somali authorities are unlawfully detaining and at times prosecuting in military courts children with alleged ties to the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. …
A prison warden at a prison in Garowe, Puntland state, in northeastern Somalia, December 2016.
Report
Summary In late 2015 the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab forcibly abducted Hamza, a 15-year-old boy from the contested town of Merka in southern Somalia, and took him to one of the group’s training camps. After two and half months of…
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Residents Threatened to Hand Over Boys, Girls

(Nairobi) – The Islamist armed group Al-Shabab has threatened and abducted civilians in Somalia’s Bay region to force communities to hand over their children for indoctrination and military training in recent months. …
Children learning to read the Quran at the Gaabow Islamic school in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, August 2013. Parents and teachers told Human Rights Watch that Al-Shabab militants threatened and on occasion abducted teachers and children from schools in
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Time for AU to End Military Use of Schools and Universities

There was a marching band, a choir, dignitaries, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. On Tuesday, some 300 Burundian soldiers serving in the African Union peace support force in Somalia (AMISOM), finally abandoned their military…
Screenshot from a video showing the ceremony as Burundian soldiers from AMISOM leave their military base on the Somalia National University campus in Dharkenley district, west of Mogadishu.
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Today the United States officially became a club of one, as the only United Nations member country that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Until this year, there were three countries that hadn’t ratified. But South…
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This week, President Barack Obama announced that four countries that use child soldiers — the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan – will continue to receive United States military assistance. The…
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Government Raid Wrongfully Detains Families With Refugee Claims

(Bangkok) – Thai authorities should release 64 asylum seekers detained in a recent raid who are being held in immigration detention, Human Rights Watch said today. The asylum seekers – including 7 children – are from Pakistan and Somalia, and possess “…
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Restore Citizenship Immediately

(Santo Domingo) – Tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent remain in legal limbo, unable to exercise their basic rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The situation remains unresolved despite government efforts to remedy it…
Elena Lorac, a spokesperson from the Reconoci.do movement, shows a birth certificate issued by the Central Electoral Board, during a rally in front of the Presidential Palace in Santo Domingo, July 12, 2013.
Report
“The Power These Men Have Over Us” Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by African Union Forces in Somalia Map Summary Key Recommendations To AMISOM Troop-…
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Thanks to a ruling on December 13 from the European Court of Human Rights, thousands of migrants and asylum seekers arbitrarily detained in Malta each year may finally have a way to challenge their imprisonment. Growing numbers of migrants and asylum…
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Oped on cnn.com

This week kicks off one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Millions will set out for Thanksgiving, a holiday that celebrates how refugees from religious persecution found freedom in a new land. I’ll be one of those traveling. And while I’m looking…