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Struggle for LGBT People’s Rights Will Not Be Silenced

I have never met Samuel, the gay Kenyan protagonist of the acclaimed documentary “I Am Samuel.” But I feel as if I know him. Not only does filmmaker Peter Murimi’s quiet, steady, honest portrayal of Samuel’s daily life create a sense of intimacy and…
“I Am Samuel” documentary, 2020
News
Doris is a 75-year-old woman from Kayaba informal settlement in Nairobi. As with most families in the settlement, her house is a single dilapidated room with mud walls, a corrugated iron roof, and dirt floors. There is no clean running water, and she…
People stand outside a purple building with a mural on it that says "Corona is Real"
Report
Summary On March 27, 2020, Kenyan authorities introduced measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, including a dusk-to-dawn curfew and a directive to Kenyans to work from home. For “Wanjiku,” a 27-year-old pre-school teacher and single…
News

Low-Income Communities Miss out on Kenya’s Covid-19 Relief

Jane Mbula, 50, a community worker in Mukuru Kayaba in eastern Nairobi, followed the news around Covid keenly. She heard the news in March 2020 when Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the first Covid-19 case in the country. The president later…
People stand outside a purple building with a mural on it that says "Corona is Real"
News

UN, Donors Should Urge Protection, Freedom of Movement on Bhasan Char

(New York) – The Bangladesh government has relocated nearly 20,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island without adequate health care, livelihoods, or protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United Nations and donor…
An elderly man carries luggage over his head as he walks he off a ship
News

Immediately Release Political Prisoners, Pre-Trial Detainees, High Health Risks

(Bangkok) – Myanmar authorities should immediately move to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus by reducing the populations of the country’s overcrowded and unsanitary prisons, Human Rights Watch said today. Myanmar confirmed its first COVID-19…
A member of the Yangon City and Development Committee disinfects government offices to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Yangon, Myanmar Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
News

Activists Plan to Appeal

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s High Court on May 24, 2019 upheld laws criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults, a step backward in the progress Kenya has made toward equality in recent years, Human Rights Watch said today. …
US man sells flags in front of stonewall
News

The Kenyan High Court Has Delayed Deciding on Decriminalizing Homosexuality

Kenya’s High Court on Friday postponed a much-awaited decision on a colonial-era law that has long deprived one group of Kenyans of uhuru, or freedom, promising to revisit the issue in May. Criminalization of gay sex remains on the…
"Adam," arrested in Kenya in February 2015 on homosexuality charges and subjected to a forced anal exam, sorts through police documents on his case. © 2015 Zoe Flood
News
Ezekiel Mutua, the head of Kenya’s Film Classification Board, didn’t want Kenyans to see Wanuri Kahiu’s internationally acclaimed film Rafiki. After watching the film, I can see why. Mutua’s venomous attitude toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
An activist waves a rainbow flag in Manhattan, New York, US, February 26, 2017.
News

Reform Laws to Protect Rights of Small Landowners

  (Yangon) – The government of Myanmar should promptly provide redress for past illegal confiscations of land, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should also enact laws and regulations to safeguard the rights of…
La Win, 61, a farmer from the Ayeyarwady Region, sits on a portion of the 35 acres of land he said was taken from him in 2004 by a company. When asked about the effect of the seizure of the land he said, “I suffered great losses in every aspect of my life
News
  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.
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.
News

Victory for LGBT Rights Activists

(Nairobi) – A Court of Appeal in Mombasa, Kenya, ruled on March 22, 2018, that conducting forced anal examinations on people who are accused of same-sex relations is unconstitutional, Human Rights Watch said today. It was a resounding…
"Adam," arrested in Kenya in February 2015 on homosexuality charges and subjected to a forced anal exam, sorts through police documents on his case. © 2015 Zoe Flood
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

UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
News

Doctors Worldwide Should Halt Abusive ‘Homosexuality Tests’

  (Nairobi, October 17, 2017) – Doctors, medical professionals, and national medical associations should heed the World Medical Association’s October 2017 resolution to end forced anal examinations on people…
A medical report filled out by a doctor in Kampala, Uganda, after conducting a forced anal examination on a man suspected of consensual same-sex conduct.
News

Tunisia and Kenya Move to Consign Discredited Medical Procedure to History Books

It’s shocking that in 2017 people are still subjected to forced anal testing to try to “prove” their sexual orientation. But Tunisia and Kenya are the latest countries to take steps toward ending these archaic and abusive exams,…
Poster by Shams, a Tunisian activist group, condemning the use of forced anal exams.
News

Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

We welcome the first report of the Independent Expert on SOGI-related violence and discrimination. We recognize that some States opposed creation of the mandate, but are encouraged that it was reaffirmed by the General Assembly with support from all UN…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.