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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…
Africa Social
Report
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

Mark Istanbul Convention’s 10th Anniversary with Action

(Berlin) – Council of Europe member states should reinforce efforts to combat violence against women by swiftly ratifying and carrying out a landmark regional convention on women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released…
People gathered in Istanbul in March 2021 to protest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty designed to safeguard women from gender-based violence. 
News

As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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

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

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

Authorities Should Investigate Claims of Excessive Force, Abuse

Kenyan authorities have started enforcing a dusk to dawn curfew, just days after the country recorded its first corona-related death. The curfew was announced on March 25 for an unspecified period. Kenya has 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 but…
Kenyan police carrying batons and teargas patrol looking for people out after curfew in the Kibera slum, or informal settlement, of Nairobi, Kenya, March 29, 2020.
News

6 Years On, No Action on Truth, Justice, Reconciliation Report

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan National Assembly has blocked justice and reparations for victims of human rights violations by failing to consider the findings of a 2013 report by the country’s Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), a…
Residents flee as anti-riot policemen pursue opposition protestors in Mathare, Nairobi, on August 12.
News

Proposed Reparations Bill Chance to Compensate Post-Election Rape Survivors

This weekend, I received the sad news that Chepkorir had died. Chepkorir, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy, was raped in December 2007. The men who raped her beat her badly and she had been struggling with poor health…
Video
The Polish government is attacking women’s rights activists and organizations, putting women’s rights and safety at risk. More than two years after the first Black Protests, when thousands took to the streets to protest efforts to further restrict access…
News

Attacks by Government Put Women, Services at Risk

(Brussels) – The Polish government is targeting women’s rights activists and organizations, putting women’s rights and safety at risk, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More than two years after the first mass protests against…
Women’s rights supporters at a demonstration for International Women’s Day in Krakow, Poland, on March 8, 2018. The center sign uses the slogan “No Woman, No Country.”
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