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When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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US Barriers to Asylum Block Path to Safety

(Washington, DC) – The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have failed to effectively address violence and entrenched discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, leading many to seek asylum in the…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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Proposed Secure and Protect Act Attempts to Block Asylum Claims

If you follow the twisted logic of Senator Lindsey Graham’s Secure and Protect Act to its ultimate conclusion, the US would all but shut its doors to Central American refugees – full stop. A vote on the bill in the US Senate Committee…
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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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Inadequate Investigations, Prosecutions, Remedies, Support

(Nouakchott) – The criminalization of sexual relations outside marriage in Mauritania puts rape survivors at risk, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The law deters them from filing complaints because they could…
The criminalization of sexual relations outside marriage in Mauritania puts rape survivors at risk. The law deters them from filing complaints because they could themselves face prosecution.
Report
  Summary In July 2016, 15-year old “Rouhiya” fled her sexually abusive father and sought refuge at the house of a 23-year-old man who had promised to marry her.[1] Soon after, she said, the man locked her up, drugged her, and gang-raped her…
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Tales of Activism in the Fight Against Sexual Violence

Support and Justice - Aminetou Mint Ely More than two decades of activism helping Mauritania’s rape survivors have not dulled Aminetou Mint Ely’s fire. Always dressed in the brightly colored melahfas, traditional…
Rape survivors, NGO leaders, and activists supporting women’s and girls’ rights in Mauritania, Nouakchott, 2018.
News

Gangs Threaten Children, Parents

Maria* and Carlos* never wanted to leave Honduras with their three children, they told me. But then gangs began threatening Carlos and their 13-year-old son Eddy*. The family moved houses, but one evening masked men came to their little…
A Honduran mother and her 3-year-old daughter wait with fellow asylum seekers on the Mexican side of the Brownsville-Matamoros International Bridge after being denied entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers near Brownsville, Texas, U.S., June
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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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Major Obstacles for Central American Asylum Seekers

  Mexico City – Central American children fleeing serious threats face formidable obstacles in applying for asylum in Mexico, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 151-page report, “Closed Doors: Mexico’s Failure…
A 12-year-old Salvadoran boy rests as he waits to be deported, at the National Immigration Institute, in Comitan, Chiapas, Mexico on August 19, 2010. ©2010 Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images
Report
Summary Gang violence has plagued Central America’s “Northern Triangle” countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for more than a decade. Children are particularly targeted by gangs in these three countries. In Honduras, for example, over 400…
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Central American children fleeing serious threats face formidable obstacles in applying for asylum in Mexico. There are wide discrepancies between Mexican law and practise. By law, Mexico offers protection to those who face risks to their lives or safety…
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: We have arrived at a peak season for migration to the United States. It's springtime, and both the weather and the economy make it advantageous for many people to cross the border from Mexico. That means we should know soon if the U.…
Report
“You Don’t Have Rights Here” US Border Screening and Returns of Central Americans to Risk of Serious Harm Summary Methodology…
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The humanitarian crisis of undocumented Central American children may have faded from the headlines, but the problem has not gone away—not least because Congress failed to pass a bill addressing the issue before it left for the August recess. Both…
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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…