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(Kampala) – Ugandan authorities on August 20, 2021, announced without prior notification that they had halted the activities of 54 civil society groups, including human rights and election monitoring organizations, Human Rights Watch said today.…
The flag of Uganda.
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Policing Sportswomen’s Bodies Undermines Rights of Women and Girls

This week, at a ceremony hosting the Tanzania men’s football team, President Samia Suluhu made remarks that cast aspersions on the “femininity” and gender of Tanzanian women footballers. Her comments have received widespread condemnation from women…
Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks during a tour of the Tanga region of Tanzania on March 16, 2021. 
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Government Should Consult Community, Respect Rights

Last week, Ugandan President Museveni and nine leaders from Uganda’s Acholi sub-region took steps to resolve the longstanding land conflict in Apaa, where authorities have been forcibly evicting residents for years. It is the latest of several…
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni photographed in Kenya's capital Nairobi, on February 11, 2020.
News

Authorities Backsliding on Rights Reforms

On Wednesday morning, police in Mwanza, in northern Tanzania, surrounded the hotel occupied by members of the country’s main opposition party, Chadema, and arrested 11 party members, including the party chairman, Freeman Mbowe. While the other party…
Tanzania Chadema party chairman Freeman Mbowe (center) arrives at the party's headquarters after being released from Segerea prison in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 13, 2020.
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An Interview with Pau González of Hombres Trans Panamá

I. Introduction On April 1, 2020, the government of Panama introduced a gender-based lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that women and men were only allowed to do essential shopping on alternate days. The country’s Health…
Pau González. © Alexandra Gil
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RE: Challenges to Implementation of GCM Objectives #4, 10, 13, 15, 17, 21 in Cameroon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, December 2018 – June 2021

Contents: I. Introduction II. Human trafficking (Nigeria, Senegal) III. Migrant detention (Mauritania, South Africa) IV. Migrant returns (Cameroon, Mauritania, Tanzania) V. Discrimination, xenophobia, access to services and documentation (South…
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Government Should Ratify Landmark Treaty on Workplace Violence

Stella (not her real name) had worked in Mukono as a waitress for about a year and a half and came to the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda) in 2019 to seek help because her supervisor was harassing her. What began as “uncomfortable…
Grace Twisimire, 25, sits in her shop selling clothes and plastic shoes in Kampala, Uganda, June 20, 2020.
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President Suluhu Should Support Education of Pregnant Girls

Tanzania’s first woman president, Samia Suluhu, took office in March 2021. Her administration has the opportunity to call on education authorities to end the exclusion of pregnant and married girls from public schools. She should urge them to adopt a…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
Report
Summary Before the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the globe had made remarkable progress in reducing child labor. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of children in child labor decreased by approximately 94 million…
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(New York, May 26, 2021) – The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, together with school closures and inadequate government assistance, is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
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Meager Government Aid Leaves Children Working Long Hours for Little Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
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Children in Ghana, Nepal, Uganda Describe Grueling Hours, Low Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
News
Three years ago, the Tanzanian human rights activist Vicky Ntetema and I sat down at a quiet Dar es Salaam restaurant to talk about the human rights situation in her country. I ordered a meal, but she didn't. She said she didn't eat at…
Samia Suluhu Hassan, center, made history when she was sworn in as Tanzania's first female president at a ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam, March 19, 2021. 
News

Michael Muhima Faces Prison Over a Tweet; End Criminalization of Free Speech

(Kampala) – Ugandan authorities should drop the abusive charges against a 24-year-old law student over a tweet, Human Rights Watch said today. Michael Muhima was charged on May 14, 2021, with “offensive communication” for a tweet he posted in…
Mike Muhima
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Dominic Ongwen’s Status as Child Victim Factors into Punishment

The International Criminal Court (ICC) today imposed a 25-year-sentence on Dominic Ongwen, a former leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The sentence marks an important milestone in the search for justice for victims of the grave international…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
News

Draft Law Criminalizes Consensual Sex, Lets Down Assault Survivors

(Kampala) – Uganda’s Sexual Offenses Bill, 2019 both criminalizes consensual sex acts and would allow some nonconsensual acts to go unpunished, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, approved by parliament on May 3, 2021, violates international…
Brenda, a Ugandan transgender woman, was arrested and assaulted by police in the wake of the passage of Uganda’s 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Activists fear that the passage of the Sexual Offences Bill will similarly lead to anti-LGBT violence.
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An Opportunity to Reverse Trends, Ensure Accountability

Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli, whose death was confirmed on March 17, 2021, leaves a legacy of repression and serious human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. His death provides an opportunity for the new leadership in Tanzania…
Tanzania's President John Magufuli leaves after inspecting a guard of honour during his official visit to Nairobi, Kenya October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
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Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.