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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
  “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

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

Still No Concrete Plan Despite Early Promises

Progress towards ending child marriage in Nepal appears to have ground to a halt, despite early hopes. Nepal, with the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia – 37 percent of girls married before 18, and 10 percent married by 15 – had been…
17-year-old Anjana M., married at 14, sits outside her home with her two-year-old daughter Ishita. Anjana’s aunt and uncle pressured her to marry her husband because of rumors about her relationship with him. Anjana’s father sent her to Pokhara when she w
News

Government Fails Earthquake Relief For Second Winter

(New York) – Nepal’s Maoist leader Pushpa Kumar Dahal, despite holding the prime minister’s office in 2016, failed to ensure accountability for human rights abuses during the civil war as promised by his party in a 2006 peace agreement, Human Rights Watch…
Nepalese police try to stop protesters marching towards the prime minister's office and other ministries, during a demonstration against delays on reconstruction and relief during the first anniversary of the 2015 earthquakes in Kathmandu, April 24, 2016.
News
Ramita married when she was 12 years old and her husband was 15. She describes it as a “love marriage” – she chose her husband and decided to marry him. But it’s not a simple romance.   Ramita’s choice is a reflection of how…
Lalita B.,17, had an arranged marriage at the age of 12 with a 37-year-old man.
News

Join Call for End of Abusive Practice On International Day of the Child

“I had three children – but two have already passed away,” Mahek Karn, age 19, told us, in a village in Nepal. Her parents arranged her marriage at age 16; she was pregnant within a month. Her daughter was one month old at the time of the interview, but…
Ganga M., 17, sits inside her home in Kailali, Nepal. Ganga had an arranged marriage at the age of 16 and was five months pregnant when this photograph was taken. Her husband works as a cook in India.
News
I never imagined a career in sex education. ​But in the villages of Nepal, it felt like there was no choice. I was researching a Human Rights Watch report on child marriage in Nepal, interviewing dozens of married girls, one after another,…
A five-year-old girl sits in a nursery school, which she is attending with a scholarship funded by a private sponsor. Quality education provides protection from child marriage—girls who are in school are less likely to marry. April 12, 2016.
News
“I had three kids. Two died. Only one is alive,” Kamala Kumari Pariyar told Human Rights Watch, sitting in the shade outside her home in Nepal’s southern Terai region. Kamala married at age 13. She attended school to class three but then…
Sharmila G., 14, eloped at age 12 and married an 18-year-old man. At the time this picture was taken she was seven months pregnant. She said that when rumors spread in her village about her relationship with her then-boyfriend, her parents tried to separa
News

Nepal Has The Third Highest Rate of Child Marriage in Asia

Narendra Chamar, who is now in his early 30s, laughs these days when he speaks about his marriage. But during the actual ceremony he cried so much they had to stop so he could be taken to his mother and breast fed. He was 18 months old.…
Manju M., 16, Tilmaya M., 18, and Sangeeta M., 19, wait with their children outside of a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal. The parents of Manju M. arranged her marriage to a 19-year-old man when she was 15. Tilmaya M. eloped and married a 20-year-old man
News

Government Breaking Promises for Reform

(Kathmandu) – The Nepal government is not taking sufficient steps to end child marriage, causing deep harm to both girls and boys across the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In July 2014, Nepal’s government pledged to end child…
Lalita B.,17, had an arranged marriage at the age of 12 with a 37-year-old man.
News
  This remote region in Kenya’s north-west is known as the cradle of humankind. But it is a case study in how climate change forces people off their land. It was in Kenya’s Turkana County, near the border with Ethiopia, where one of the…
Report
Summary Climate change is here with us. We cannot stop it. The only way is to see how to work around it. -- Peter Ekai Lokoel, Deputy Governor Turkana, September 2014 Over the past century, the average annual temperature on earth has…
News

Health, Security, Livelihoods at Risk in Turkana Region

(Nairobi, October 15, 2015) – Climate change and regional development projects are threatening the health and livelihood of indigenous peoples in the Turkana region of northwest Kenya, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The…
Pastoralist woman
Video
Thousands of people in a poor urban district outside Mombasa face serious health consequences from toxic lead from a battery recycling plant. The crisis is the result of the Kenyan government’s failure to adequately regulate the lead smelter in the Owino…