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Item 6 - Universal Periodic Review

We regret that the government of Saint Lucia has, once again, refused to accept the recommendations to decriminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults. Articles 132 and 133 of the criminal code punish so-called “gross indecency” and “…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

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
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

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

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
On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
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.
News

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.
News

Investigate Crimes against Journalists, Protect Independent Press

(Berlin) – Journalists across the Western Balkans face a hostile environment that impedes their ability to do critical reporting. More than a year after Human Rights Watch documented impediments to media freedom in Bosnia and…
Balkan media under threat
News

Investigative Journalist Should be Free on Bail as Trial Proceeds

Update: On January 15, 2019, the Higher Court in Podgorica found Martinovic guilty and sentenced him to 18 months in prison for alleged drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organization. He will appeal the verdict. Martinovic already served 14…
Freelance journalist Jovo Martinović
News

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.
News

11-Month Pre-Trial Detention Unjustified

Update: On January 15, 2019, the Higher Court in Podgorica found Martinovic guilty and sentenced him to 18 months in prison for alleged drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organization. He will appeal the verdict. Martinovic already served 14…
Freelance journalist Jovo Martinović
News

Financial Crisis Threatens Basic Protections

(Washington, D.C.) – Member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) should promptly ensure that the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights receives enough financial support to fulfill its mandate, Human Rights…
A protester holds up a sign next to relatives of some of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos during a march in Mexico City
Video
(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…