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Ensure Safety During Covid-19; Address Plight of Frontline Workers

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan government has failed to fulfill its pledge to support health workers fighting Covid-19, exposing them to avoidable risks of trauma, infection, and even death, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s haphazard,…
Healthcare workers protest outside the Ministry of Health headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya to honor one of their colleagues, Dr. Stephen Mogusu, a 28-year-old health worker who succumbed to Covid-19.
News

Rise in Poverty, Hunger Shows Need to Expand Social Protection

(Nairobi) – The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for African governments to strengthen social protection systems and fulfill people’s rights to social security and an adequate standard of living. Many African governments introduced…
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Summary Rose’s husband was abusive prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. He had been physically violent on multiple occasions, had threatened to kill her by stabbing or strangling her, and verbally abused her. The abuse continued and escalated after Rose…
News

Government Should Support Community Activists Working to Protect Survivors

Gladys Koskey, 48, has always kept her home in Trans Mara, southwestern Kenya, open to friends and relatives. But in the past decade, her home has also become an important refuge for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Gladys leads a group of…
Gladys Koskey helps a nine-years-old rape survivor who lives in her home with her writing.
News

Effective Law Enforcement, Access to Shelter, Financial Support Are Critical

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan government’s response to gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic has been too little, too late, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 61-page report, “‘I Had Nowhere to Go’: Violence against Women…
The back of a girl staring out a window
News

International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
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News

Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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News

‘Motorway Incident’ Protests Show Urgent Need for Police Reform

“Azaadi!” – or “freedom!” – women chanted on the streets of major cities across Pakistan on Saturday, as they protested police handling of a case known as the “motorway incident” – a shocking rape of a woman by multiple assailants. A police chief’s…
Women demonstrate to condemn the police response to the of rape of a woman by a highway, Islamabad, Pakistan, September 12, 2020.
News

Officials Launch Guidelines for Self-Isolation of Covid-19 Patients

In early June, Kenya’s Ministry of Health released guidelines on how people with mild or asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 could self-isolate at home. The new guidelines were drafted in accordance with the World Health Organization’s recommendations.…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
News

Government to Pay US$12 Million in Compensation for Smelter Pollution

In a victory for environmental health, last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.…
News

Kenyan authorities demolished hundreds of homes last month, leaving thousands homeless and without any support.

In early May, Kenyan authorities evicted more than 8,000 people in two of Nairobi’s informal settlements. Deprived of their homes, hundreds of families were forced to sleep out in the open for weeks. They not only had to gather around fires…
Alongside evicting residents in the Kariobangi North Sewerage settlement and surrounding areas, authorities used excavators to demolish homes, churches, shops, and schools, and destroyed personal belongings.
News

Ensure Access to Health Care, Sanitation, Information

(Nairobi) – Kenyan authorities are potentially facilitating transmission of the Covid-19 virus while forcefully quarantining tens of thousands of people in facilities that lack proper sanitation, protective equipment and food, Human Rights Watch,…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
News

Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan Should Allow Free Flow of Information

(Geneva) – The World Health Organization (WHO) should press four governments that have shut down the internet to minority populations during the Covid-19 crisis to restore internet access, Human Rights Watch and 47 other organizations…
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News

Response to Pandemic Is Endangering People’s Health

  Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week justified reopening shopping malls by claiming that Pakistan “is not … seriously affected” by Covid-19 and that there is no pandemic in the country. In fact, Pakistan has had at…
People rush to shop for the Eid holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan after the government relaxed a weeks-long lockdown that was enforced to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Quetta, Pakistan, May 18, 2020
News

Protect Health Workers, Ensure Essential Medical Care During Pandemic

With one of the highest maternal mortality rates in South Asia, Pakistan was already in crisis before the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the reported closing of maternity wards in Islamabad, the capital, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa…
Pakistani women wearing face masks leave the Aga Khan hospital where a patient suspected of having contracted coronavirus was admitted, in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
News

Journalists Assaulted, Threatened, Harassed

Kenyan media didn’t have much to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day. Kenyan police and senior state officials have continued to intimidate, threaten, and physically attack journalists reporting on sensitive issues, and authorities have done…
Ferry passengers flee from police firing tear gas, after new measures aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus instead caused a crowd to form outside the ferry in Mombasa, Kenya Friday, March 27, 2020.
News
  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
News

Lockdown Measures Increase Risks for Women and Girls

For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he needed…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
News

Pandemic Threatens Refugee Camps, Densely Populated Urban Areas

What are your main concerns about the coronavirus moving through Africa? In many countries where we work there is an extremely weak public health and healthcare infrastructure. The fact that the spread in Africa has been slower than elsewhere…
A member of the Senegalese graffiti collective "RBS CREW" paints informational murals advising how to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, on the wall of a high school in the Parcelles Assainies neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal, March 25, 2020.
News

Mitigate COVID-19 Impact on Low-Income Households

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should take urgent steps to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on its most vulnerable workers, Human Rights Watch said today. Social distancing, quarantines, and the closure of businesses will have…
Pakistani workers make face masks, which are in great demand worldwide due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, in Karachi, Pakistan, March 31, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Fareed Khan