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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
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"
News

Humanitarian Organization Warns Weapons Threaten ‘Our Shared Humanity’

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on governments to ban fully autonomous weapons. ICRC President Peter Maurer said yesterday that he hopes the humanitarian organization’s public backing for new legally…
An ambulance covered in bullet holes
News

Education Ministry has a Crucial Role in Addressing Teen Pregnancies

“I want to [talk] about female candidates who sat for the…examination [while] in hospitals. As I celebrate, I also want to castigate our parents in the most severe terms possible.” These were the words of Kenya’s cabinet secretary for education,…
young mothers collect books library
News

UN Report Shows Transfers of Banned Landmines in Conflict

Buried in a new report by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya comes disturbing news about recent transfers of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines. The report shows that antipersonnel mines manufactured in Russia were likely brought…
PMN-2 blast mines recovered from Tripoli, Libya, December 2020. 
News

Calamitous Year for Human Rights

(Tunis) – Armed groups that support competing Libyan governments and their international benefactors have been responsible for massive civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction during 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) during clashes at the Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli, with the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
News

On Human Rights Day, Celebrating People Who Make the World Better

This Human Rights Day I’m celebrating my sister’s commitment to lifting up the lives of girls and giving them a chance at realizing their potential. I think of my sister Vicky as a warrior in the fight for human rights, and on December 10, I’m…
Vicky, a teacher in a girls’ school in Kenya, is dedicated to empowering girls. 
News

Risk of Complicity in Unlawful Airstrikes in Yemen, Libya

(Washington) – The United States should halt proposed weapons sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Human Rights Watch said today. It should suspend all future sales until the UAE curtails unlawful airstrikes in Yemen and Libya, halts support and…
UAE flag with Dubai skyline
News

Transparent Inquiry Needed into Latest Politically Motivated Killing

(Beirut) – Eastern Libyan authorities should promptly investigate the apparent politically motivated killing of a lawyer, Human Rights Watch said today. Hanan Al-Barassi, an outspoken critic of violations by armed groups in eastern Libya, was shot…
Hanan Al-Barassi, a Benghazi-based lawyer, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen on November 10, 2020, in her hometown.
News

Harms Girls and Reduces Nation's Potential

"I didn't go back to school, because I didn't have anyone to give me advice," "Harriet" told me. "I wish someone would've come to talk to me about school and encourage me." We were sitting in   her brother's home in Migori county, western…
News
A Supreme Court review of the division of matrimonial property law may provide clarity for Kenyans on rights to land, houses, and other assets acquired during marriage. Over the last decade, Kenya has enacted laws to ensure equality of spouses in…
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Report
  Summary Ruth K., a 40-year-old Taita mother of two in Kilifi county, was struggling to support herself financially. In 2016, her husband forced her out of their matrimonial home, and she left with nothing. She said, “When you work on…
News

Women and Matrimonial Property Rights in Kenya

Women in Kenya still face insurmountable difficulty when trying to claim matrimonial property after divorce. Here are some of their stories.  Issa B: When her abusive husband left her, she was ordered to return her dowry My husband turned…
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News
Kenyans are speaking about divorce more openly than ever before. But women still face insurmountable difficulty when trying to claim matrimonial property after divorce. Human Rights Watch found that the process for dividing up this property discriminates…
Women registering for a community dialogue meeting organized by the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) with the Milimani Law Courts in Kibera, Nairobi.
News

Despite Law, Biased Practices Persist

(Nairobi) – Many women in Kenya are left without protection to claim their matrimonial property despite relative progress in the laws on paper, Human Rights Watch and the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya) said in a report released today. A…
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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

Victim-Activated Explosive Devices Endanger Human Lives

(Washington, DC) – An armed group and affiliates fighting for control of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, appear to have used antipersonnel landmines and booby traps there in late May 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. “Any use of internationally…
Fighting since April 2019 resulted in considerable damage to residential areas in the surroundings of Tripoli Airport, shown here on June 2, 2020.
News
  In early April, a photograph of three fighters on one of Tripoli’s front lines grabbed social media’s attention both for its poignancy and the absurdity of the situation. The photo was of three heavily armed men in full combat gear…
Three men in full combat gear wearing protective face masks against Covid-19, in Tripoli, Libya on March 25, 2020.