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UN Review Should Focus on Increased Protection Against Violence, Bias

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities are falling short of their international legal obligations to protect women and girls from violence and end discrimination against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has submitted a report to the…
Women shout slogans and wave the Lebanese flag during a demonstration in down town Beirut.
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Summary I would like you to pass on our voice. It’s not a voice. It’s a cry of pain. We have been here in Lebanon because they not only raped us, they also raped our land and dignity. —Male survivor of conflict-related sexual violence in Syria,…
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Survivors in Lebanon Lack Needed Services

(Beirut) – Syrian state and non-state actors have subjected men, boys, transgender women, and nonbinary people to sexual violence during the Syrian conflict, resulting in severe physical and mental health consequences which are compounded by a lack of…
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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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Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
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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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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Prevent Rapists From Escaping Punishment by Marrying Victims

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s parliament should repeal a penal code provision that allows rapists to escape prosecution by marrying their victims, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament should also amend other provisions to adequately criminalize sexual assault…
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.
Video
Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Improve Enforcement; Provide Support for Victims

(Beirut) – Weaknesses and a lack of coordination in the Lebanese government’s response to sex trafficking is putting women and girls at risk, Human Rights Watch said today, on the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The government should enforce its…
A Syrian woman, a victim of sex trafficking, finds refuge at a shelter in an undisclosed location in Lebanon.
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Lebanese authorities are imposing regulations that effectively bar many Syrian refugees from renewing their residency permits, heightening risks of exploitation and abuse among people who fled persecution and war. Residency regulations adopted in January…
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Lebanese Laws Need Further Overhaul to Curb Gender-Based Violence

(Beirut) ­– Lebanon’s repeal of a criminal code provision that mitigates sentences for so-called honor crimes is an encouraging step to address gender-based violence. The Lebanese parliament should remove and amend other criminal provisions that…
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Overcome Clerics’ Opposition and Set Example for the Region

(Beirut) - Lebanon's parliament should adopt a draft law that would specifically criminalize violence against women, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, which would criminalize physical, mental, and sexual abuse, marital rape, and so-called honor…
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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…