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Investigate Threats; Protect Freedom of Expression

(São Paulo) – A leading Brazilian reproductive rights activist, Debora Diniz, is facing death threats ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on access to abortion, Human Rights Watch said today. Brazilian authorities should…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
News

Presidential ‘Joke’ Sets Back Reproductive Health Efforts

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demonstrated reckless disregard for the health of Filipinos this week by suggesting they avoid using condoms because they “aren’t pleasurable.” During an address to returning overseas migrant workers…
201802Asia_Duterte_Condoms
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Fully Implement and Enforce the Reproductive Health Law

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has effectively lifted a supreme court order in 2015 temporarily banning 51 female hormonal contraceptive products by determining that they do not induce abortion. The FDA action…
201711Asia_Philippines_BirthControl Women listen during a family planning lecture by a Likhaan NGO health worker at a reproductive health clinic in Tondo, metro Manila, Philippines January 12, 2016.
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Susana, 25, was breastfeeding when she became pregnant with a second child in Recife. It was unplanned. Her son was born with microcephaly–a condition in which the infant’s head is smaller than expected.   She was among the nearly 100…
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Clara is a community health worker’s dream client—she has absorbed all the training offered on preventing mosquito breeding in her home and implements it to perfection. I spoke to her last October in a favela in downtown Recife. She described how she…
Mother holding her child in Brazil.
Report
Summary On a Friday afternoon in October 2015, Luciana Caroline Albuquerque Bezerra, the executive secretary of health surveillance for the state of Pernambuco, Brazil, received a call from her boss, the secretary of health for the state. Two…
News

Condoms Needed in High Schools to Curb HIV Transmission

Philippine officials, led by Senator Vicente Sotto III, have vowed to block a plan by the Department of Health to start distributing condoms to students as part of its efforts to stem the spread of HIV. The health department plan recognizes that the…
Students receive free condoms at an event organized by the United Nations Population Fund in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, July 11, 2014.
News

Improved Condom Access Essential to Address HIV Epidemic

The Philippine government has restored funding to service Filipinos’ reproductive health needs, most significantly for the estimated 13.4 million women who rely on government-supplied contraceptive products. The long-overdue move…
An NGO health worker holds contraceptive pills during a family planning session with housewives availing free pills in Tondo, Manila August 6, 2012.
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
News
The Philippine government has taken a serious step backward in its obligation to protect maternal health, reduce infant mortality, and prevent the spread of HIV. Last week, the Philippine Congress eliminated funding in the 2016…
An NGO health worker holds contraceptive pills during a family planning session with housewives availing free pills in Tondo, Manila August 6, 2012.
News
Philippine Senator Vicente Sotto III may have his way in scuttling a study on needle exchange, which is designed to reverse the rise of HIV infection among people who inject drugs. Giving clean needles to intravenous drug users, he argued in the Senate,…
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Business, government and development agencies should combat discrimination, which can drive poverty and conflict

"They come every day … four or five cars usually – 20 to 60 soldiers. They say, 'We need this land for sugar, so you shouldn't be here' … We say, 'We don't want [sugar]', but that is not the right answer. They hit us or they take us to jail." These are…
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Final Document Falls Short on Corporate Accountability and Reproductive Rights

(Rio de Janeiro) – Global economic troubles are being matched by a recession in human rights with worryingly minimal commitments coming out of the United Nations Rio+20 conference on Sustainable Development, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and…
News

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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Expands Exceptions to Criminal Penalties to Include Fatal Disorder of Fetus

(Washington, DC) – The ruling by Brazil’s highest court on April 12, 2012, expanding exceptions from criminal penalties for abortion is a positive step toward protecting women’s human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Abortion is a crime in Brazil,…
News
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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Throughout the Philippines in March there have been vibrant marches and celebrations for National Women's Month. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has also joined in with marches and protests of its own, but unfortunately these are to…
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Measure Would Deter Pregnant Women From Seeking Medical Care

(New York) - Brazil's Congress should protect women's dignity and human rights by rejecting a bill that confers extensive rights to fertilized ova, Human Rights Watch said today.  The measure would give the rights of the fertilized ovum "absolute priority…
News
Brazil is famous for its Carnival, the celebration before the morning-after solemnity of Lent that conjures up images of parades and samba pageants, with wildly celebrating participants from all over the world. A thriving tourism industry feeds on those…