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Hopes for Accessible Voting on Election Day Dashed

In the weeks leading up to the October 10 parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) promised to take steps to ensure people with disabilities could vote. But on election day, videos circulated suggested IHEC’s…
A man helps his mother as she casts her ballot during the parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq on October 10, 2021.
News

Clearer Standards and Vetting Can Help Protect Survivors

Controversy swirled last week around the award-winning film Sabaya, which covers the dramatic rescue of abused Yezidi women abducted and enslaved by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. At the heart of the issue is how to obtain informed…
A 22-year-old Iraqi Yezidi woman carries her 2-year-old son at her home in al-Hasakeh, northeastern Syria, on November 23, 2020.
News

Progress Toward Accessibility Ahead of Elections, but Gaps Remain

Next week, Iraq will hold parliamentary elections, but many people with disabilities are effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places. Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, has one…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018.
News

Five More Sub-Saharan Countries Act to Protect Girls’ Education; Barriers Remain

(Nairobi) – African countries have taken important steps in recent years to protect the right to education of pregnant students and adolescent mothers, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2019, at least five sub-Saharan African countries –…
Young mothers at secondary school in Kenya
Report
Summary Iraq is holding parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021. Without change, hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities will face barriers to participation and some of them may not be able to vote. The exact number of people with…
News

Urgent Need to Improve Accessibility Before Upcoming Elections

(Beirut) – People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018. 
News
(Kampala) – Ugandan authorities on August 20, 2021, announced without prior notification that they had halted the activities of 54 civil society groups, including human rights and election monitoring organizations, Human Rights Watch said today.…
The flag of Uganda.
News

Government Should Consult Community, Respect Rights

Last week, Ugandan President Museveni and nine leaders from Uganda’s Acholi sub-region took steps to resolve the longstanding land conflict in Apaa, where authorities have been forcibly evicting residents for years. It is the latest of several…
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni photographed in Kenya's capital Nairobi, on February 11, 2020.
News

Displaced Iraqis’ Rights Trampled Repeatedly

(Beirut) – The Iraqi army has unlawfully evicted dozens of families from a village north of Baghdad since July 2021 in an apparent family feud involving a government minister, Human Rights Watch said today. The 91 families from al-Aetha, a village in…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Government Should Ratify Landmark Treaty on Workplace Violence

Stella (not her real name) had worked in Mukono as a waitress for about a year and a half and came to the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda) in 2019 to seek help because her supervisor was harassing her. What began as “uncomfortable…
Grace Twisimire, 25, sits in her shop selling clothes and plastic shoes in Kampala, Uganda, June 20, 2020.
News
A federal judge in California ruled on April 21 that the Iraqi extradition case against Omar Ameen, a resettled refugee in the U.S., was based on an alleged series of events that is "simply not plausible." The evidence the government presented,…
202004us_detention_immigration
News

Vulnerable People Stripped of Services During Pandemic

Update 8/25/21: In a letter dated August 13, 2021, the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut responded to Human Rights Watch laying out the measures the government is taking to ensure that returns are not forced, and saying that it is providing food, shelter, and…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
Report
Summary Before the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the globe had made remarkable progress in reducing child labor. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of children in child labor decreased by approximately 94 million…
Video
(New York, May 26, 2021) – The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, together with school closures and inadequate government assistance, is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
News

Children in Ghana, Nepal, Uganda Describe Grueling Hours, Low Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
News

Meager Government Aid Leaves Children Working Long Hours for Little Pay

The unprecedented economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing children into exploitative and dangerous child labor. Many children feel they have no choice but to work to help their families survive, but a rise in child labor is not an…
A child sits on the sidewalk in front of a display of goods to sell
News
When protests erupted in Baghdad and other parts of central and southern Iraq in October 2019, tens of thousands of mostly young people took to the streets demanding improved government services and more action to curb widespread corruption. The…
Iraqi security forces fire tear gas to disperse protesters during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.
News

Michael Muhima Faces Prison Over a Tweet; End Criminalization of Free Speech

(Kampala) – Ugandan authorities should drop the abusive charges against a 24-year-old law student over a tweet, Human Rights Watch said today. Michael Muhima was charged on May 14, 2021, with “offensive communication” for a tweet he posted in…
Mike Muhima
News

Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch