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Women Tell Their Stories

Abortion in all instances, including rape, is illegal in Honduras. Any woman who has an abortion, and anyone found to have helped her, can be charged with a crime and imprisoned. For that reason, La Línea (“The Line”) was a rare resource in…
Lorena (a pseudonym) was unaware she was pregnant when she went to a hospital in intense pain two years ago. Doctors suspected she had attempted an abortion and called the police. She was taken from the hospital in handcuffs and is now facing charges.
Cristina Alvarado is a social worker and part of the national coordination team of Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz “Visitación Padilla” (Movement of Women for Peace “Visitacion Padilla”).

Survivors and Advocates Seek Help from UN Human Rights Committee

Norma* (*indicates a pseudonym) was 12 when her father began raping her. She became pregnant shortly thereafter. Though abortion is legal in Ecuador when a woman or girl’s life or health is in danger, no one told her this. She gave birth despite…

Lawmakers Set to Discuss Loosening Notoriously Strict Anti-Abortion Law

This week, lawmakers in Honduras will have the chance to allow some women access to abortion, reversing restrictions first imposed more than 30 years ago. Under the current law, terminating a pregnancy is illegal and carries a heavy prison sentence,…
In Norway on Saturday, three women stepped up to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. The awarding of the Nobel to Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkul Karman and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is a long-awaited and, some may think, overdue testament to women's courage.…

Ivorian Women and Girls Compelled to Trade Sex for Food, Shelter

(Geneva) - Dozens of Ivorian refugee women and girls recently arrived in eastern Liberia say they have had to engage in sex to get adequate food, shelter, or money, Human Rights Watch said today. The Liberian government, the police, and United Nations…

Government and Rebel Troops Both to Blame

(New York) - Five nurses held for three months in 2002 by Liberian rebels have provided detailed accounts of their mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said today. The women, who worked for the Liberian organization Merci, were given a "choice" by the…

Criminal Tribunal Convicts Bosnian Serbs for Crimes Against Humanity

Human Rights Watch today welcomed the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia's (ICTY) decision to convict Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac, and Zoran Vukovic for rape, torture, and enslavement. The decision was announced today in the…
The parallels between the current crisis in Guinea and the situation in Macedonia at the onset of the Kosovo refugee crisis in 1999 are striking. The international response to both situations could not be more different. Guinea is host to the second…

Government incites attacks on Sierra Leonean and Liberian refugees; UNHCR must act

Human Rights Watch strongly condemned the Guinean government for inciting armed attacks against Sierra Leonean and Liberian refugees. Human Rights Watch today released the first on-the-ground testimonies from more than 40 victims, including ten women…