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Russia, Nigeria, Uganda and Hungary have all passed odious laws in recent years that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Ghana’s proposed legislation takes bad parts from all of these and adds some.

Sometimes the human capacity for cruelty takes my breath away. A recently proposed bill on “sexual rights” and “family values” in Ghana is a case study in extreme cruelty. Ghanaian MPs are considering legislation that is so onerous it beggars…
A young lesbian woman at an LGBT community center in Accra, Ghana.
News

Surge in State-Sponsored Harassment

(Johannesburg) – Ghana’s attorney general should drop charges against 21 human rights defenders who face ongoing judicial harassment after attending a paralegal training session, Human Rights Watch said today. The activists were charged with “unlawful…
People who were detained by police on suspicion of promoting an LGBT agenda at an unlawful assembly arrive at a court for a bail hearing in Ho, Volta Region, Ghana on June 4, 2021.
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Summary Before the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the globe had made remarkable progress in reducing child labor. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of children in child labor decreased by approximately 94 million…
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(New York, May 26, 2021) – The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, together with school closures and inadequate government assistance, is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
News

Meager Government Aid Leaves Children Working Long Hours for Little Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
News

Children in Ghana, Nepal, Uganda Describe Grueling Hours, Low Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
News

Returns to Abusive Migrant Detention Centers Put Lives at Risk

Three young people are facing terrorism charges in Malta for refusing to be returned to almost certain detention and abuse in Libya. The “El Hiblu 3,” as they are known, appeared in a preliminary court hearing in Valetta on July 30; their trial is yet…
Migrants on a Libyan Coast Guard boat in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, January 15, 2018.
News

International Inquiry Needed

(Accra) – The families of more than 50 Ghanaian and other West African migrants killed in Gambia and Senegal 15 years ago have yet to learn the full truth and obtain justice concerning the massacre, 11 human rights organizations said today. Amid…
Families of massacre victims, in Kumasi Ghana, April 2018.
News

End Arbitrary Detention on Tourist Ferry Boats

Update: As of May 28, Malta was detaining 425 people on four tourist cruise boats just outside its territorial waters. (Milan) – The Maltese government should immediately allow more than 160 people detained on two private tourism vessels just off…
The Europa II, a tourist ferry sets sail from Marsamxett Harbour, Valletta, Malta.
News

Ensure Equal Access to Treatment; Invest in Community-Based Support

(Brussels) – Ghana’s Accra Psychiatric Hospital has confirmed that a patient has tested positive for Covid-19, causing concern about protection for other patients and staff, Human Rights Watch said today. The infected woman was admitted…
The dormitory in the men’s forensic ward of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital in Ghana. The dormitory has since been refurbished.
News

Enforce Ban on Chaining and Provide Community-Based Services

(Accra) – Faith-based and traditional healing centers in Ghana continue to hold people with real or perceived mental health conditions – psychosocial disabilities – in chains in inhumane conditions despite a 2017 ban on such treatment, Human Rights Watch…
In one traditional healing center, Human Rights Watch found 16 men in a dark, stifling room, all of them with short chains, no longer than half a meter, around their ankles. They called out: “We are suffering here. They are abusing our human rights. Pleas
News

Domestic Violence Against Lesbians All Too Common in Ghana

Emelia, a woman in her thirties living in Kumasi, Ghana, will never forget the day her father found out she was a lesbian. He beat her for three hours – with his fists, and a belt, and then with a broken beer bottle. Agnes, a…
A young lesbian woman at an LGBT community center in Accra, Ghana.
News

Sexual Exploitation and Harassment Also Widespread in Secondary Schools

A hard-hitting BBC television documentary, Sex for Grades, has uncovered rampant sexual abuse, harassment, and bullying of students at two prestigious universities in Nigeria and Ghana, and launched what will hopefully be a new movement.   …
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News

Many People With Psychosocial Disabilities Remain Shackled

On my Twitter feed last week, I saw many images of Ghanaians celebrating Independence Day: people dressed in their finest, cheering and waving flags, marching bands playing, ordinary Ghanaians dancing in the streets. But I had trouble…
Men sitting on beds and on the floor in a crowded room
News

5 UN Rights Monitors Urge Public Reporting of 2005 Killings

(Geneva) – Five United Nations human rights monitors have urged the UN and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to release their report on the 2005 massacre in Gambia of more than 50 Ghanaian and other West African migrants,…
Massacre survivor Martin Kyere at Accra cemetery where six bodies were returned from Gambia.
News
With great sadness we share the news that Medi Ssengooba, a dear friend, partner, and colleague at Human Rights Watch, passed away last week after a short illness. Medi was a strong advocate, a sharp lawyer, and a kind and…
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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. “
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(London, October 10, 2018) – Hundreds of people with real or perceived mental health conditions remain chained or confined in prayer camps in Ghana, despite some progress, one year after the government pledged to enforce a ban on shackling, Human Rights…
News

Monitoring, Community Mental Health Services Needed to End Abuse

(London) – Hundreds of people with real or perceived mental health conditions remain chained or confined in prayer camps in Ghana, despite some progress, one year after the government pledged to enforce a ban on shackling, Human Rights…
Men sitting on beds and on the floor in a crowded room
News
Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.