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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
News

Feminist Activists Attacked and Threatened

On May 29, Zhanar Sekerbaeva and Gulzada Serzhan, co-leaders of the feminist group Feminita, were holding a private event to discuss gender equality in Shymkent, a city in southern Kazakhstan, when unidentified men tried to break up the gathering by…
Feminita Kazakstan Activist Arrested
News

Activists Demand Equality, Better Protection

By Vika Kim International Women’s Day 2021, on Monday, was the first time authorities in Almaty, Kazakhstan allowed a march celebrating the day to proceed. I joined the five-kilometer march along one of the city’s main roads, with hundreds of…
International Women’s Day march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, March 8, 2021. 
News

Lacks Prevention Measures, Labor Law Reforms, Monitoring

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s new sexual harassment law falls short of international standards by addressing sexual harassment solely as a crime and neglecting prevention, labor law reforms, monitoring, and civil remedies, Human Rights Watch said today in…
Activists take part in a demonstration against sexual harassment, rape, and domestic violence in the Lebanese capital Beirut on December 7, 2019.
News

Urgently Address Economic, Political Crises

(Beirut) – The Lebanese authorities’ corruption and failure to address the massive political and economic crises the country is facing have resulted in the country’s most drastic deterioration of rights in decades, Human Rights Watch said today in its…
Lebanese people release balloons bearing the names of the victims of the 4 August Beirut seaport blast to mark the two-month anniversary of the explosion that killed 200 people and injured more than 6,500 others.
News

Lawmakers Have Opportunity to Strengthen Flawed Law

Ainagul from Aktobe, Gulnara from Kostanai, Arailym from Almaty, and Madina from Karaganda: these women from cities across Kazakhstan share a painful connection. They are all survivors of domestic violence at the hands of their abusive partners or…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News

Rights, Rule of Law Key in Response to Region’s Crises

(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should set consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response to political turmoil, such as in Kyrgyzstan, or to challenges…
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
News

UN Review Should Focus on Increased Protection Against Violence, Bias

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities are falling short of their international legal obligations to protect women and girls from violence and end discrimination against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has submitted a report to the…
Women shout slogans and wave the Lebanese flag during a demonstration in down town Beirut.
News

Reinstate Contract; Amend Labor Law

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s State Shura Council, the country’s top administrative court, delivered a sharp blow to migrant domestic worker rights by suspending the implementation of a new standard unified contract, Amnesty International and Human Rights…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
Report
Summary I would like you to pass on our voice. It’s not a voice. It’s a cry of pain. We have been here in Lebanon because they not only raped us, they also raped our land and dignity. —Male survivor of conflict-related sexual violence in Syria,…
News

Survivors in Lebanon Lack Needed Services

(Beirut) – Syrian state and non-state actors have subjected men, boys, transgender women, and nonbinary people to sexual violence during the Syrian conflict, resulting in severe physical and mental health consequences which are compounded by a lack of…
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News

Adopt Rights-Respecting Contract for Migrant Domestic Workers

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s Labor Ministry should urgently adopt a new standard unified contract that respects and protects the rights of migrant domestic workers as a first step toward abolishing the abusive kafala (sponsorship) system, Human Rights Watch…
Protestors holding banners calling for the abolishment of Lebanon's controversial kafala sponsorship system.
News

Government Should Ensure Protection for Survivors During COVID-19 Lockdown

While Kazakhstan authorities fight the spread of coronavirus by putting much of the country under lockdown, they should ensure domestic violence victims can still access refuge and services despite quarantine measures. On…
A woman rides a bus wearing face protective mask amid concerns over the coronavirus, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, March 16, 2020.
News

Revise Draft Law on Peaceful Protests

Update: In an online hearing on April 7, an appeals court in Kazakhstan upheld the lower court’s ruling penalizing the Women’s Day march activists with administrative fines. On April 8, parliament passed, in a second reading, the…
Symbolic burning of a funeral wreath during celebration of International Women's Day in Almaty, Kazakhstan, March 8, 2020.
News
Every year on March 8, Kazakhstan’s leaders commemorate International Women’s Day – a national holiday – in speeches praising women for their professional competitiveness and achievements, beauty, and “love for family values and…
Women, wearing traditional clothes, participate in Nowruz celebrations at the a Center in Astana, Kazakhstan on March 21, 2019.
News
What does a woman do if she is being attacked or harassed by strangers outside her home? Her instinct is to seek refuge and protection in her own home, where she feels safe. But what if a woman is being abused by her husband or partner in the home?…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News

UN Body Criticizes Domestic Violence Record, Urges Protection for Women with Disabilities

The United Nation’s top women rights body has criticized Kazakhstan’s government over its poor record on domestic violence and protecting women with disabilities. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News

Reform Personal Status Laws, End Child Marriage

The leading role played by women in Lebanon’s protests should come as no surprise. Lebanese women have long been leaders in the country’s protest movements. Indeed, they have often borne the brunt of the sectarian system of governance that today’s…
Women shout slogans and wave the Lebanese flag during a demonstration in down town Beirut.