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Lawmakers Should Enact Proposed Criminal Code Reform

(Washington, DC) – The Congress of the Dominican Republic should adopt a proposal to decriminalize abortion in three circumstances as a matter of urgency, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s total abortion ban, in effect since 1884, threatens…
An abortion rights activist holds a plastic medallion reading "For the #3Causales (#3LegalGrounds), Life, Health and Dignity" during a protest to urge parliament to approve a proposed reform to the penal code that could end the total ban on abortion, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic March 18, 2021. 
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Allow Access to Independent Forensic Experts

(Washington, DC) – Authorities in Paraguay destroyed crucial evidence in the killing of two 11-year-old Argentinian girls by state forces and violated their own investigative protocols and international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said…
Lilian Mariana Villalba in November 2019. Photo courtesy of her family.
News

On International Day of the Girl, Imagine Life with Reproductive Rights Guaranteed

  Today, on International Day of the Girl, we have an opportunity to reflect on what life could be like if girls around the world had access to safe and legal abortion. I’ve done…
Lorena (a pseudonym) was unaware she was pregnant when she went to a hospital in intense pain two years ago. Doctors suspected she had attempted an abortion and called the police. She was taken from the hospital in handcuffs and is now facing charges.
News

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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Report
  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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​​As Republicans in states around the country pass sweeping abortion bans, I think about what life could be like for women and girls if these laws take effect. I don’t have to use my imagination. Women and girls across Latin America are…
Graffiti promoting legal abortion and women’s rights on a street in central Tegucigalpa, Honduras where public protests and demonstrations often take place. Vivas nos queremos (“We want to live”) is a slogan used in campaigns across Latin America.
News
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.
Video
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.…
News

Criminal Penalties Violate Rights

(Santo Domingo) – The Dominican Republic’s total ban on abortion threatens women's health and lives and violates their rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Abortion is illegal in the Dominican Republic in all circumstances,…
People take part in a march in Santo Domingo for the decriminalization of abortion in three circumstances: when the life of a pregnant woman is in danger, when the pregnancy resulted from rape, or when the fetus will not survive outside the womb.
Report
  Summary Abortion is illegal in the Dominican Republic in all circumstances, even when the life of the pregnant woman or girl is in danger. The country’s total abortion ban has devastating consequences. Women and girls facing unplanned or…
News
A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
News

Entitled to Consultation on Communal Ownership

  (Washington, DC) – A draft law before the Antigua and Barbuda Senate would deprive Barbudans of communal land where they have lived for generations, Human Rights Watch said today. The Antigua and Barbuda government should consult with the…
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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…
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Paraguay’s harsh abortion law endangers adolescent girls

Last week, a 14-year-old girl in Paraguay died during childbirth. She became pregnant after she was raped by a 37-year-old man, and she died while doctors performed an emergency cesarean section, trying desperately to save her and her baby, after she’d…
Paraguayan social activists protest in front of the Health Ministry to demand the end of violence against women and better health care for women, as the world celebrates "International Women's Day" in Asuncion, Paraguay, March 8, 2017.
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
In a moment when some countries have stepped back on LGBT rights, a January 9th decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has opened a window of opportunity for Latin America to lead the way.   In a landmark…
People celebrate after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights called on Costa Rica and Latin America to recognize equal marriage, in San Jose, Costa Rica, January 9, 2018. The sign reads: "The court said yes".
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.