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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Show Leadership on Migrant Worker Protections during International Forum

(London) – Bangladesh should improve protection for its domestic workers migrating to the Middle East, Human Rights Watch said today. Bangladesh is hosting the Global Forum on Migration and Development on December 10-12, 2016, a meeting…
A migrant domestic worker watches over a child playing in the Magic Planet, City Centre Muscat, a shopping mall in Oman.
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Just yesterday, we sat down with activists from Haiti concerned about the impact that badly regulated mining could have on their communities’ already poor access to safe drinking water. Communities around the world face similar problems, and with more…
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More than 1100 dead, many others coping with temporary or permanent disabilities, and people still missing. The 24 April 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse – Bangladesh’s worst ever industrial disaster – has left the country reeling and Bangladeshi rights…
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Reforms Should Tackle Failings of Courts, Laws, and Assistance Programs

(New York) – Bangladesh’s discriminatory personal laws on marriage, separation, and divorce trap many women and girls in abusive marriages or drive them into poverty when marriages fall apart, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. In…
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Security Forces Also Attacked Women and Girls in Raids on Homes

(New York) – Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Witnesses and victims also told Human Rights Watch that soldiers and pro-government armed militias have sexually abused…
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Doe-eyed and frail, with a mellow voice and a cheery smile, nothing about Sara (not her real name) suggested she had been through ordeal after ordeal in her 22 years. Forcibly married at 15 to a much older man, she discovered after the marriage that her…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…
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(Abu Dhabi) - When labor ministers from 22 Asian and Middle Eastern countries meet in Abu Dhabi this week to discuss Asian contract migrant workers, they should address widespread violations of migrant workers’ rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Both…
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Migrants’ Groups Call for Key Reforms

To participants in the Colombo process, including governments in Asia and the Middle East, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM): We, the undersigned groups, represent migrants’ associations, trade unions, human rights groups, and other…
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Migrants’ Groups Call for Key Reforms on International Migrants Day

(New York) - Governments in Asia and the Middle East must take stronger action to fight rampant abuse against migrant workers, several migrants’ and human rights groups said in a joint letter on the eve of December 18, International Migrants’ Day. Tens…
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Torture, Unfair Trials and Forced Confinement Pervasive

(London) - In Saudi Arabia foreign workers—who comprise one-third of the kingdom’s population—face torture, forced confessions and unfair trials when they are accused of crimes, Human Rights Watch said today in a report that offers a rare glimpse into the…
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SUMMARY "It was like a bad dream" is the way one migrant worker from the Philippines summed up his experiences in Saudi Arabia.Another worker, from Bangladesh, told us: "I slept many nights beside the road and spent many…