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Full Investigation Needed into Ignored Riot Warnings, Sexual Violence

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several…
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Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several dozen female detainees,…
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Players Demand End to Sexual Abuse in Sport

(New York) – Football’s lifetime ban for Haitian soccer federation president Yves Jean-Bart is an important step forward to protect children and young women athletes in sport from sexual abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. The International…
Women hold up signs demanding justice during the hearing of the president of the Fédération Haïtienne De Football (FHF), Yves Jean-Bart, regarding allegations that he abused female athletes at the country's national training center, outside the courthouse in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, Thursday, May 14, 2020.
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Athlete Survivors Seek Justice, Restructuring of Federation

(New York) – Witnesses and sexual abuse survivors who could provide evidence in an investigation of the Haitian Football Federation (Fédération Haïtienne De Football, FHF) president, Yves Jean-Bart, have reported efforts to intimidate them in Haiti…
Women hold up signs demanding justice during the hearing of the president of the Fédération Haïtienne De Football (FHF), Yves Jean-Bart, regarding allegations that he abused female athletes at the country's national training center, outside the courthouse in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, Thursday, May 14, 2020.
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Armed Criminals Abducted at Least 170 People, Many Women, Since 2017

Criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom at least 170 people near the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 2017 and March 2020. Small groups armed with guns and machetes have beaten, tortured, and murdered hostages,…
Criminal gangs have kidnapped for ransom at least 170 people near the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 2017 and March 2020.
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FIFA Should Suspend Football Federation President

  (New York) – Haitian law enforcement should effectively investigate serious allegations of sexual assault against the president of the Fédération Haïtienne De Football (FHF), and vigorously pursue appropriate prosecutions, Human…
Women hold up signs demanding justice during the hearing of the president of the Fédération Haïtienne De Football (FHF), Yves Jean-Bart, regarding allegations that he abused female athletes at the country's national training center, outside the courthouse in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, Thursday, May 14, 2020.
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A Haitian woman was selling charcoal on the empty edges of her small town when a white, uniformed United Nations peacekeeper offered her a lift in his marked vehicle. He raped her shortly after she got in. “I could not fight back,” said Marie Badeau (a…
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The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) conviction of the Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda sends a strong message that justice may await those responsible for grave crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said today. 
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Women Tell Their Stories

Abortion in all instances, including rape, is illegal in Honduras. Any woman who has an abortion, and anyone found to have helped her, can be charged with a crime and imprisoned. For that reason, La Línea (“The Line”) was a rare resource in…
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.
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Cristina Alvarado is a social worker and part of the national coordination team of Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz “Visitación Padilla” (Movement of Women for Peace “Visitacion Padilla”).
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Lawmakers Set to Discuss Loosening Notoriously Strict Anti-Abortion Law

This week, lawmakers in Honduras will have the chance to allow some women access to abortion, reversing restrictions first imposed more than 30 years ago. Under the current law, terminating a pregnancy is illegal and carries a heavy prison sentence,…
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Today’s International Criminal Court (ICC) conviction of a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president was both a victory for sexual violence victims and a stark warning to senior commanders who turn a blind eye while their troops rape and commit…
Former Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba looks up when sitting in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands, September 29, 2015.
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The Democratic Republic of Congo lost a hero this week. Rebecca Masika Katsuva, a women’s rights activist who dedicated her life to helping rape victims in eastern Congo, passed away unexpectedly on February 2. Masika had a huge…
Rebecca Masika Katsuva
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Hearing on “Aid Delivery in Haiti: Development Needs, Capacity Building and Challenges”

Co-Chairmen Representatives McGovern and Wolf and distinguished members of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to submit a written statement for today’s hearing on Aid Delivery in Haiti: Development Needs, Capacity Building, and Challenges.…
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In a move that will surely draw a collective cheer from thousands of women whose lives have been destroyed by brutal sexual violence, the European Parliament announced that Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege won the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought…
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New Judicial Mechanism Needed to Bring Perpetrators to Justice

Introduction Horrific levels of rape and other forms of sexual violence have plagued eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for almost two decades. Tens of thousands of women, girls, men, and boys have been raped and otherwise…
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Nations Should Pledge to Prosecute Attackers, Aid Survivors

(London) – The London Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict is a landmark opportunity to strengthen global efforts to end rape in war, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should use the summit, from June 10 to June 13, 2014, to make strong…
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Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan were three of Haiti’s most forceful advocates for women’s rights. They established some of the few groups that helped Haitian women recover from domestic violence and rape, pursue justice and restart…