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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

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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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

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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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.
News

Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
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

Mother’s Nationality Still Won’t Transfer

(Beirut) – The Qatari cabinet has reportedly approved a draft law allowing children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris to acquire permanent residence but not full nationality, unlike children of Qatari men, Human Rights Watch said today. Permanent…
A sign indicating a route to Qatar embassy is seen in Manama, Bahrain, June 5, 2017.
News
“Rashida,” from Kigamboni in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, said a recruiter promised her a job as a domestic worker for a family in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Instead, she wound up in a recruitment…
Illustration of a domestic worker exploited in Oman.
News

New Campaign Provides Opportunity to Abolish Child Marriage

Last month, Tonga’s Ministry of Justice partnered with a local women and girls’ rights group, the Talitha Project, to launch a campaign to end child marriage in the Polynesian nation of 106,000 people. The “Let Girls be Girls!” campaign…
The Royal Palace of Tonga.
News

Gulf Countries Should Improve Laws, Ratify Treaty

(Beirut) – Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should bring their national laws on domestic workers up to the standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention. All six countries should ratify the…
News

Legal Advances in Two Dozen Countries Globally as New Treaty Enters Into Force

(Montevideo) – The Middle East depends heavily on domestic workers but trails other regions in adopting critical reforms to protect their rights, the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and…
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HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 10, General Debate

Yemen’s transitional government has started the process of restructuring the military and security forces. Nevertheless, serious human rights violations continue and efforts to implement a United Nations-facilitated transition blueprint have at times met…
Report
For a Better Life Migrant Worker Abuse in Bahrain and the Government Reform Agenda Summary Employer and Recruitment Abuses against Migrant Workers Attacks…
News

Urgent Need to Enforce Labor Laws, Provide Redress

(Beirut) – Hundreds of thousands of mostly South Asian migrant workers in Bahrain face exploitation and abuse despite government reforms intended to protect them, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today.  The 123-page report, “For A…
Report
Slow Reform Protection of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia and the Middle East Summary Key Recommendations to Governments of Labor-Receiving Countries To Labor Ministries and Parliaments To …
News

Benefits Should Be Extended to Domestic Workers

(Beirut) - Bahrain's revision of its restrictive kafala (sponsorship) system will dramatically improve the status of most migrant workers and reduce their risk of exploitation, Human Rights Watch said today. But the protections should be extended to…
News

Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council, in its review of Bahrain’s human rights record, should assess this legislation and recommend steps to bring existing legislation, especially in the areas of freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and…
News
(Abu Dhabi) - When labor ministers from 22 Asian and Middle Eastern countries meet in Abu Dhabi this week to discuss Asian contract migrant workers, they should address widespread violations of migrant workers’ rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Both…
News

Migrants’ Groups Call for Key Reforms

To participants in the Colombo process, including governments in Asia and the Middle East, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM): We, the undersigned groups, represent migrants’ associations, trade unions, human rights groups, and other…