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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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UN Human Rights Council Should Pursue Accountability

(Geneva) – Sri Lanka’s government is aggressively attacking efforts to hold officials to account for past grave abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 93-page report, “Open Wounds and Mounting Dangers: Blocking…
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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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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.
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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”).
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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,…
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Consultations Highlight Broad Accountability Concerns

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s government should promptly implement recommendations on transitional justice proposed by the Consultation Task Force (CTF) in a report released on January 3, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The report reflects the first broad…
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19 Sri Lankans, Including 6 Women, at Grave Risk of Torture if Returned

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should not deport 19 Tamil refugees to Sri Lanka because they would be at serious risk of torture and persecution upon return. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has recognized all 19 as refugees,…
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Sri Lankan security forces have been using rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected members or supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). While widespread rape in custody occurred during the armed conflict that ended in…
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"We Will Teach You a Lesson" Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces Map of Sri Lanka Summary Key Recommendations Methodology…
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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.…
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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…
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Council Should Turn Its Talk Into an Effective Response to Civilian Suffering

(New York) - The United Nations Security Council should make sure that its existing commitments to protect civilians during armed conflict are actually carried out, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to council member states. On June 26, 2009, the…
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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…
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(New York, August 29, 2001) - Caste-based discrimination blights the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world, and the World Conference Against Racism should have the issue squarely on its agenda, Human Rights Watch urged in a new report…
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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…